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Beltbereb at Be^auto WlnHbttsiitp 

Social Rebuilders 


Dean of Divinity School, Tale UniTersity 

*And thej said. Let us rise up and build^* 




Copyright, 1921, by 


Printed in the United States of America 















I. The Labor Leader Who Freed thec**^^^ 

Slaves... 1^<3&^^?^ 9^ 

11. The Prophet Who Fought a Wicked ^^^ 

King ££^>UV^ 43""'''"^ 

III. The Herdsman Who Preached Social 

Justice UAVS.C^.-r 78 

The Man Who Exited Righteousness ^^ 

Above Ritual. . K ^^i^ ?^rV> 112 '^''^ 

The Leader in a Day of Social Re- 







The chief distinction of this little book is 
that it is a voice crying in the present wilder- 
ness of confusion and disorder showing the 
way out. The author is a modern prophet 
with a message of God for the time. He 
gives in these lectures a discriminating 
appraisal of present-day industrial and social 
conditions. He interprets the message of the 
old Hebrew seers with rare spiritual insight 
and proclaims their religion as the only hope 
for the rebuilding of the world. Coming 
from the ranks of the toiling masses, Dean 
Brown speaks not as a partisan but with a 
broad sympathy. For the reconstruction of 
the world he looks not to institutions but to 
ideals; not to new measures but to higher 
motives. This volume breathes with passion- 
ate eloquence for the humanizing of industry, 
for the moralizing of social relations, and for 
Christianizing the whole of life. For stimu- 
lating thinking, and prophetic utterance upon 
the vital issues of the time, these lectures will 
be highly prized both by ministers and lay- 

The Mendenhall Lectures of DePauw Uni- 
versity, to which this series of addresses be- 
longs, was founded by the Rev. Marmaduke 
H. Mendenhall, D.D., of the North Indiana 




Conference of the Methodist Episeopal 
Chnrch. The object of the donor was "to 
found a perpetual lectureship on the evi- 
dences of the divine origin of the Holy Scrip- 
tures. The lecturers must be persons of wide 
repute, of broad and varied scholarship, who 
firmly adhere to the evangelical system of 
Christian faith. The selection of lecturers 
may be made from the world of Christian 
scholarship, without regard to denomina- 
tional divisions. Each course of lectures is to 
be published in book form by an eminent pub- 
lishing house and sold at cost to the faculty 
and students of the University. ' ' 
Lectures previously published: 

1913, The Bible and Life, Edwin Holt 

1914, The Literary Primacy of the Bible, 
George Peck Eckman. 

1917, Understanding the Scriptures, Fran- 
cis John McConnell. 

1918, Religion and War, William Herbert 
Perry Faunce. 

1919, Some Aspects of International Chris- 
tianity, John Kelman. 

1920, What Must the Church Do To Be 

Saved? Ernest Fremont Tittle. 

George R. Grose, 
President DePauw UniTersity. 




The Master never prayed that his follow- 
ers should be taken out of the world into 
some heaven of detachment from its sin and 
pain. He prayed, rather, that they should be 
kept from the evil of the world and be stead- 
ily engaged in a sturdy effort to overcome 
that evil with good. He put upon our lips 
those words which impel us to look up into 
the face of Infinite Perfection and say, ' ' Thy 
kingdom come." We are to look for it and 
strive for it here and now. ''Thy will be 
done" here on earth as it is done in heaven! 
The better mode of life which we crave is to 
come down out of heaven from God. It is 
to come down out of the realm of vision into 
the realm of accomplished fact. And we are 
not to limit our aspiration nor to cease from 
that prayer until those high ends shall have 
been achieved. 

The two contrasting ideas in the matter of 
personal excellence here suggested may be 
vividly seen in two types of men with whose 


^/ 1"^^' 


work we are all familiar. John Bright and 
Cardinal Newman lived in the same century. 
They were citizens of the same country, and 
for a time their lives were identified with the 
same city. They were both men of marked 
ability ; they both came to be national figures 
and both were earnest Christians. But at the 
very time when John Bright was fighting 
for the repeal of the wicked Corn Laws and 
striving to better the social conditions in his 
own country and laboring for the promotion 
of international peace throughout the world, 
Cardinal Newman was writing those pathetic 
words which were recorded in his biography 
by Wilfrid Ward: ''The simple question is, 
Can I be saved in the Church of England? 
Would I be in safety were I to die to-night?" 
He decided that he would not be ''in safety," 
so he entered the Roman Church. //^ 

It is significant, by the way, that the man 
who was striving mainly to save his own 
soul by the prudent cultivation of a personal 
and private piety looked finally for his guid- 
ance to the external authority of an ecclesias- 
tical organization. The man who was los- 
ing his life in seeking the high ends of social 
justice looked for his guidance to that 
"Inner Light" which is shed directly by the 
Divine Presence in the hearts of all those 


who have the will to do his will. In the judg- 
ment of the one who makes to us the stronger 
appeal, the main office of religion is not to 
enable a man to make a safe retreat into the 
security of paradise. The main office of re- 
ligion is the restoration, the exaltation, and 
the enrichment of everyday life in this pres- 
ent world. "^ 

"The true mark of a saved man," someone 
has said, '*is not that he wants to go to 
heaven but that he is willing to go to China, 
or to the battlefields of France, or to the 
slums of some great city, or to the last dollar 
of his resources, or to the limit of his energy, 
in order to set forward the kingdom of God 
on earth." The old, selfish, luxurious idea 
that a man's chief concern is to save his own 
soul and thus gain by his prudent piety a 
heaven of bliss, scarcely gets a rise out of the 
troubled sea of modern life. j?:. 

The Master of our Christian faith made all 
this plain, and his forerunners, the prophets 
of Israel, lived in the same high, heroic mood. 
They had very little to say about "the sweet 
by and by." They gave s cant attention to 
the hope of a blessed immortalit v awaiting us 
in some unseen world. They did not pray for 
"t he wings of the dove" that thev "might 
fly, ^y^iy a nd be at rest. ' ' They prayed, 


rather, for the baptism of that Spirit which 
is symbolized by the dove in the life of our 
Lord to the end that here, in this present 
order where we find ourselves, they too might 
do always those things that pleased the 
Father. They were to gain their p. gace not 
by flig ht but by conques t. They were intent 
upon having the divine will stand fast and 
bear rule in the social and the domestic, in 
the industrial and the political life of the 
race. They were the heralds of a kingdom 
whose leading notes were to be righteousness, 
peace, and joy in the Divine Spirit. 

The first book in the Bible deals entirely 
with individuals. The first question asked in 
it has to do with the personal standing of an 
individual before God. "Adam, where art 
thou?" the Lord said. And the whole book 
is made up of interesting stories about indi- 
viduals — Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, 
Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. 
These individuals (with the possible excep- 
tion of Joseph during his stay in Egypt) are 
iportrayed as standing quite apart from the 
organized life of industry and civics. 

But the moment you turn the leaf and open 
the second book in the Bible you enter upon 
the history of a race. The book of Exodus 
from start to finish is a social document — it 


might well be called ' * the Story of an Ancient 
Labor Movement.'^ It shows us how a race 
of slaves was delivered from bondage. It 
outlines the growth of race consciousness; it 
portrays the laws and the institutions, the 
social manners and customs which entered 
into the shaping of a nation's life. In this 
first lecture, then, on the work of these lead- 
ers in social rebuilding I wish to speak of 
the chief figure in that interesting book. Let |j 
me ask you to look at Moses, the labor leader u 
who freed the slaves. ^ 

You all know the story of those Hebrews 
who went down to Egypt for food because 
there was a famine in their own land of 
Canaan. They remained there in the fat Nile 
Delta for many years quite contented with 
their lot. But at a later period ** there arose 
a king who knew not Joseph." The gifted 
Hebrew, who had nobly served the interests 
of Egypt and had secured a better status for 
his fellow countrymen, had long since gone 
to his reward, and his influence had faded out. 
This later Pharaoh oppressed and enslaved 
the helpless Hebrews until ''their lives were 
made bitter with hard bondage." -i> 

He set task masters over them, so that ''all 
their service was with rigor." Their physi- 
cal strength was being depleted by hard, 


monotonous toil. But, worse than that, their 
manhood and womanhood were being de- 
stroyed by that ruthless system of industry. 
They lost all zest and relish in life and their 
whole capacity for spiritual response was 
fast going. ' ' They hearkened not to the spirit 
of God for anguish of soul." It was the 
tragedy wrought by an economic system 
which brought defeat to all their better quali- 
ties of mind and heart. And when their for- 
tunes had reached this low ebb Moses, the 
man of the hour, came upon the scene. 

Let me notice three things about him. 
First, he was a man of the people. His 
parents were slaves. His father and mother 
had known the bitterness and the defeat of 
that hard bondage. They showed the service 
stripes of economic slavery upon their faces 
and upon their hearts. Moses had seen in his 
own home the coarse fare and the rude con- 
ditions of those who failed to secure an equi- 
table share of the good things they helped 
to create. 

His own escape from it for a time, through 
the generous action of the princess, did not 
blind him to the injustice of it all. He was a 
Hebrew of the Hebrews, and his heart beat 
true to his own class. When he was grown to 
man's estate his first recorded act was one of 


courageous participation in the ill fortunes of 
his race. "He refused to be called the son of 
Pharaoh's daughter," who had taken him 
under her care, choosing rather to suffer 
affliction with his own people than to enjoy 
the pleasures of an iniquitous system for a 

In like manner, present indications point to 
the fact that the men who are to lead to-day 
in the securing of a better type of industrial 
life must come mainly from the ranks. The 
men who have shared in the rough work of 
the world have the first right to the floor, and 
it is altogether fitting that they should be 
heard. We wonder sometimes why wise pro- 
fessors of economics, sitting comfortably 
apart in well-endowed university chairs, or 
canny millionaires who have made their piles, 
or facile writers of clever articles on social 
questions to be published in the ''uplift maga- 
zines," may not be permitted to tell these 
wage-earners what to do and how to do it in 
order to save them from the painful blunders 
they often make in learning the way. But the 
plain people will not follow those leaders 
blindly, and they ought not. It belongs to 
their advance that they should develop their 
own leaders. The men who are to take the 
right of the line in the forward movement of 


the common people must be bone of their 
bone and flesh of their flesh. The fitness for 
that larger measure of freedom and of pros- 
perity which they crave with all its added re- 
sponsibilities must come through the very 
process of developing their own leadership 
and of acquiring their own power of initia- 

^ It is also significant that the social leaders 
who have come from the more fortunate 
classes have not, as a rule, proved themselves 
altogether trustworthy as guides. It was 
William Ewart Gladstone, a man of wealth 
and of university training himself, who main- 
tained that ''In almost every one of the great 
political controversies of the last fifty years, 
whether they affected the franchise or com- 
merce or religion, the leisure class, the titled 
class, and the educated class have been in the 
wrong." Gladstone was no foe of wealth. 
He suffered from no unjust prejudice as to 
the value of education. He was himself born 
in a castle and was a graduate of Christ 
Church College in Oxford University, but he 
saw the perils of privilege and the moral 
blindness which sometimes befalls the chil- 
dren of good fortune. '^ 

The large-minded employers of labor — and 
there are many of them in these days and th^ 


number is constantly increasing — are frankly 
facing the fact that the number of things 
which they can do for the men and women in 
their employ is limited. The wage-earners 
keenly resent every kind of paternalism. 
They resent the idea of having ** welfare 
work" and ''uplift schemes" imposed upon 
them. They are not little children to be given 
their bread and milk and tucked into bed at 
the proper time, with a kiss and a prayer and 
a fond good night. They too are responsible^ 
members of society. They are not just 
''hands" in the mill. They have heads on 
their shoulders and hearts in their breasts 
like the rest of us. They insist on being "con- 
sulted" and "shown." And the wise em- 
ployers are not working for their employees ; 
they are working with them. They are en-^ 
couraging the spirit of initiative and the 
making of plans and the development of lead- 
ership among the working people themselves. 4, 

When the Triangle Shirt Waist Factory in 
the city of New York was burned a few years 
ago and a hundred and forty-three working 
girls with it, the citizens arranged a mass 
meeting of protest for the following Sunday 
afternoon. It was held in the Metropolitan 
Opera House, and the place was packed, 
orchestra, boxes, galleries and all. The late 



' Bishop Greer, representing the Episcopal 
Church, addressed the meeting, voicing the 
Christian sentiment touching that horror. 
Rabbi Wise spoke for the Hebrews and Mr. 
Jacob H. Schiff, capitalist and philanthropist, 
spoke for the people of good fortune and 
social position. Many wise and kind words 
were uttered by these gentlemen. 

When they had finished, the chairman intro- 
duced Miss Rose Schneiderman, the head of 
the Shirt Waist Makers' Union. She walked 
out to the front of the stage, paused a moment 
to get control of her voice, and then said this 
— ^her words were burned into my memory as 
with a hot iron. **This is not the first time 
that working girls have been burned to death 
in the city of New York because employers 
were breaking the law. Each week on an 
average comes the untimely death of at least 
one of my fellow workers, and every year 
hundreds of us are maimed by dangerous, un- 
protected machinery. The lives of women 
are cheap and property is sacred. There are 
so many of us what does it matter if a hun- 
dred and forty- three are burned alive? I 
would be a traitor to these poor burned bodies 
if I stood here and simply talked good fellow- 
ship. We have tried you good people and we 
have found you wanting. You are always 


ready to give a couple of dollars apiece all 
around for the sorrowing families, but when 
we come out in the only way we know to op- 
pose conditions which have become unbear- 
able, the strong hand of the law is down upon 
us instantly. I stand here to protest against 
the injustice of it all." ^ 

The audience listened to that vital thrust 
which was in striking contrast to some of the 
pallid, placid things which had been said by 
the preceding speakers. It listened and re- 
flected and drew a long breath. Then the peo- 
ple rose to their feet and shouted their ap- 
proval as no Metropolitan Opera House audi- 
ence had ever shouted its satisfaction in the 
triumph of some singer like Melba or Caruso. 
The note of social justice had been struck by 
one of the working people and the American 
conscience responded with a loud "Amen." 
Pity, compassion, kindliness — they are all 
good, but there is a demand for something 
more fundamental! And when that deeper 
note of justice sounded forth from the lips of 
a worker the people were ready with their ap- 

The words of that woman spoken on behalf 
of all the toiling people who have suffered 
hurt and loss by unfair deals constitute a 
challenge to the moral forces of our nation. 


It is a challenge which must be met. It can- 
not be met by a few gracefully worded reso- 
lutions about *'the dignity of labor" or by 
occasional outbursts of generous feeling. It 
must be met by patient, resolute, far-seeing 
action, which looks toward a larger measure 
of social justice. The religious people of the 
land cannot sing nor can they pray aright 
unless at the same time they are setting them- 
selves man-fashion to meet that challenge. 
The music of the anthem and the words of 
the liturgy will stick in their throats like 
Macbeth 's *'Amen" unless they frankly ac- 
cept that protest from the world of toil and 
show themselves intent upon the correction 
of the injustices of industrial life. 
*• The policy of repression at this point is 
altogether mistaken and dangerous. ' ' Do we 
want labor more disaffected than it is now? 
It is easy to make it so. Do we want more 
revolutionary leaders'? They can be had for 
the asking. So far as capital insists on de- 
feating collective bargaining it will close the 
safety valve. To bargain with the full 
strength of a union is the one avenue through 
which labor is to enter the new partnership. 
It is the avenue through which business re- 
sponsibilities are one by one to be taken on 
by labor. So deep is the unrest that the one 


problem is to fix this responsibility on labor 
groups at the safest points. This will force 
labor to select the kind of leader required for 
those duties, as we have long seen among co- 
operators and in the older and steadier 
unions. ' ' " 

'*At a gathering of business men in Atlan- 
tic City after the war Mr. John D. Rocke- 
feller, Jr., and Mr. Charles M. Schwab 
warned their fellows in language which ten 
years ago would have classed them as 
poseurs. 'Not only must we and our kind,' 
it was said, * gradually accept government 
supervision to correct abuses inherent in com- 
peting industry, but labor itself is to have 
a new deal. It must have constructive recog- 
nition. It must freely choose its representa- 
tives to work with capitalistic directors."^ 

The fact is stated and it is significant that 
this ancient labor leader was not a glib talker. 
He tried to beg off at first because of his lack 
of eloquence. ''I am slow of speech," he said 
to the Lord, ' ' and of a slow tongue. ' ' He felt 
that this would disqualify him. He had not 
learned that in almost all of the social move- 
ments of the world the glib speakers have 
come unduly to the front. They have de- 
claimed to responsive audiences in a manner 

iLabor'sChalle&ce to the Social Order. J. G. Brooks. Pages 22, 414.. 


most gratifying to themselves, but oftentimes 
to the detriment of the very causes they 
espoused. The orators, the spellbinders, the 
men who talk loud and see red, have again 
and again wielded an influence which was not 
for the permanent well-being of their awe- 

. struck hearers. 

"" The men of vision and insight, slow of 
speech and slow of tongue though they are in 
many situations, working not by burning ora- 
tions nor by fiery appeals, but by wise, patient, 
constructive effort, are the more significant 
factors in the solution of these problems. 
And these men, less conspicuous than the 
orators but much more useful, are writing 
those pages of social advance which later gen- 
erations will read with gratitude and joy. It 
is one thing to talk in glowing terms about 
the righting of wrongs and it is quite another 
and a very much harder and higher thing to 
set in operation those forms of effort which 
look toward the permanent correction of 
those wrongs. 

* This man of the people, however, was not 
an untrained ignoramus. "He was learned," 
we read, '*in all the learning of the Egyp- 
tians." He shared actively in the benefits of 
one of the highest civilizations of that early 
date. He was no raw enthusiast, devoid of 



judgment and of experience. He had given 
years of study and reflection to the problems 
he was now set to solve. ^ 

The gap between theory and practice may 
be wide — it often is — but it is never so wide 
as the gap between ignorance and compe- 
tence. We have all seen good causes go down 
in defeat for the lack of competent, far-seeing 
leadership. There were facts enough in the 
minds of men; there was feeling enough in 
the hearts of men ; there was energy enough 
in the strong right arms of men, but there 
was a lack of that competent and worthy 
leadership which can be gained only through 
training and experience. Therefore their 
contention failed. The hands on the clock of 
social betterment were put back by those who 
could talk and feel but could not wisely judge. 
Some one has cleverly said, **The idealist 
knows where to go but lacks facilities; the 
practical man gets there but finds himself in 
the wrong place.'* We must enlist the com- 
bined action of both types of men for the 
great advance. Here to-day, as in that far- 
away scene on the banks of the Nile, there is 
sore need of the patient application of eco- 
nomic intelligence and of instruc tive expe- 
rignce as well as o f social conscience and 
moral enth usiasm to problem s too vast and 


too intricate for any offhand impromptu solu- 
tion. ^ 

During the Great War many fine words 
were uttered in high places as to the worth 
and si gnificance of jhajg nrkingman . He was 
in the mines furnishing fuel for the winning 
of the war. He was in the factories furnish- 
ing munitions for the winning of the war. He 
was on the farm furnishing food for the win- 
ning of the war. He was on the railroads and 
in the steamships furnishing transporta- 
tion for the winning of the war. He was 
simply in dispensable in the^ hourjgdieg^he 
fate of civilizationsee med to tremble in the 

The workingman will not soon forget all 
those fine words. Never again will he accept 
willingly what was dealt out to him in certain 
sections of the workaday world before the 
war. The day when he could be told in blunt 
fashion to ''take it or leave it'* is gone. The 
"hire-and-fire'* method of dealing in cavalier 
fashion with working people has been hope- 
lessly discredited. The workingman is on 
his feet to-day insisting on his right to be 
heard in the determination of those condi- 
tions which so intimately and powerfully 
affect his own welfare and the welfare of his 
family. And I do not see anywhere in sight 



any chairman of the meeting who will be able 
to make him sit down and take whatever is 
handed out to him. '^ 

There will come inevitably a better type of 
labor leader from the ranks. The employing 
class engaged in business on its own account 
is not now drawing off the stronger brains 
and the more aspiring wage-earners as it did 
a generation ago. Then unoccupied land in 
the West was still drawing away the more 
resolute spirits from the crowded centers of 
industry. To-day that land has practically all 
been taken up. The amount of capital needed 
to go into business for oneself in that day 
was not so large. To-day the huge depart- 
ment store, the corporation, or the trust en- 
gaged in manufacture makes it all but im- 
possible for the wage-earner to aspire to a 
business of his own. The economic system is 
not so elastic as it was forty years ago. The 
abler wage-earners will of necessity remain 
in their own class furnishing material for 
that better type of labor leader. 

The development of that more competent 
and trustworthy type of leadership has 
already made substantial progress. It was 
one of our most thoughtful, careful observers 
of social conditions and movements, John 
Graham Brooks, who said in a recent book: 


** At a sitting of the Commission on Industrial 
Relations I sat beside the largest employer 
of labor in his industry in this country (Mr. 
Schaffner of Hart, Schaffner & Marx), and 
probably in the world. He had listened for 
several days to the testimony by employers 
and by their attorneys and by labor men. He 
turned to me and said, 'These labor repre- 
sentatives are really better informed on the 
subjects here treated and state their case 
better than we do.' " The men who voiced 
the toilers* point of view knew what they 
were about and they moved straight toward 
the goal they had in view with a measure of 
insight which won the admiration of this 
large employer of labor. ■^ 

Furthermore, the opportunities for study 
and training along these lines of interest 
have been brought within the reach of thou- 
sands of men and women to whom they were 
formerly denied. The public libraries, with 
great shelves of books upon social, industrial, 
and political problems, are everywhere. The 
papers and magazines dealing with these 
questions are in the homes of all but the very 
poorest of the people. The sons and daugh- 
ters of the workingmen are finding their way 
in large numbers to the colleges and universi- 
ties of the land, where they often put to 


shame the sons of good fortune by the fidelity 
and thoroughness they show in making use of 
their advantages. We are all students of 
economics these days — it is in everything we 
read and in everything we hear. It is in the 
clubs and in the churches; it is in the air. 
And out of all this there will come more men 
and more women who are competent, as well 
as willing, to point the way to a better type of 
industrial life. ''Education has already made 
labor observant, and a more perfect organi- 
zation will make it formidable. ' ' '«- 

In the second place we find that t his ancien t 
labo r^ leader b e gan his wor k in_ih£L-wrfliIg 
mood and with the wrong method s. He came 
out one day and saw an Egyptian taskmaster 
beating a Hebrew slave. His instant sym- 
pathy for the oppressed and his race con- 
sciousness impelled him to act. Here was a 
wrong to be righted I He caught * ' the nearest 
way," as Lady Macbeth suggested to her 
husband. He took the law into his own hands. 
He promptly killed the fellow and hid his 
body in the sand. 

This mistaken leader u ndertook the social 
deliveran ce of his people l>y a policy of p er- 
so nal violence Class feeling, race loyalty, 
sympathy for the helpless were strong in his 
breast, and he gave to all this instant and 



perilous expression by his act of murder. It 
reacted upon him most unfavorably and he 
was compelled to flee for his life. He went off 
into the land ofMidian, where he kept sheep 
in~tEat lionely^ region for a period of forty 
years until he should have learned that^e 
work of industrial deliverance^s not to be 
underlaken in just j^at mood nor with those, 

He was driven into the wilderness because 
he undertook to replace the reign of law by 
acts of personal violence. He had yet to dis- 
cover that the right road out of industrial 
bondage must lead inevitably along the foot 
of Mount Sinai. The *'new social order" 
must come down out of heaven from God as 
an essential part of that infinite moral order 
which enfolds us all. 

In many countries of the old world there is 
at this hour abundant evidence of that same 
mistaken form of impulse which swept this 
ancient leader off his feet. There have been 
few more careful observers of conditions dur- 
ing the Great War than Sir Philip Gibbs. 
Here is his recent comment upon the situa- 
tion in Europe: **The greatest failure of all 
in my judgment has been the failure of labor. 
I am for labor, having seen its men fighting 
and dying in great masses for no selfish pur- 


poses. Therefore many of us hoped most 
from labor and looked for leaders in its ranks 
who would show us the way out of our pres- 
ent jungle. We thought that they would give 
the call to a new fellowship of men, that they 
would overstep the narrow frontiers of na- 
tional interest, that they would get a new 
honesty into politics and show the power of 
open diplomacy. But have they done any of 
these things? 

*'I see leaders of a small, pettifogging 
spirit fighting for * two-bob' extra on the 
wages of their men while their European com- 
rades are starving for coal. I see only the 
selfishness of class interest, as greedy as that 
of the profiteer, without any regard for the 
welfare of the nation as a whole or for the 
needs of Europe in distress. They refuse to 
'delute labor' in the interest of the men who 
fought for them or with them. Recent his- 
tory convicts them of a secret diplomacy as 
bad as that of old statesmanship. Their 
press has not been more honest than the capi- 
talist press which labor has denounced. The 
appeals of their leaders have not been to the 
generous instincts of humanity, nor on behalf 
of the world in agony, nor to any noble ideals 
toward which we may all grope our way, but 
to the same little tricky, selfish interests with 





an Tinderlying menace of the bloody things 
which have been the curse of national politics 
as the game has been played by their op- 
ponents. ' * 

We can sympathize with the resentment of 
that ancient leader who killed the cmel task- 
master even while we withhold our approval 
from his method. He had the heart of a man 
and he struck out man-fashion at the oppres- 
sor, but they were not blows which were 
counted to him for righteousness. The hot 
indignation of youth at the sight of injustice 
has immense moral value, but it must be in- 
vested with deeper meaning and attach itself 
to finer issues if it would accomplish results 
worthy and lasting. The high task of social 
betterment cannot be undertaken in anger or 
in hatred — ^it calls for the spirit of moral 
faith. It will never have adequate spiritual 
energy to gain the ends proposed until it 
reaches the place where itA>uts the shoes 
from off its feet because it stands on holy 
ground.X It must see with its own eyes that 
symbol of the Divine Presence in the mys- 
terious fire which burns and does not con- 
sume. In the long run and in the last analysis 
nothing is strong and nothing is good with- 
out the consecration of a finer form of 


I have wondered oftentimes if it might not 
be well for some of the leaders of the I. W. W. 
and other kindred organizations here in our 
own country to go off for a time and enjoy in 
similar fashion a quiet season of reflection in 
the land of Midian. The idea that any individ- 
ual who can talk loud, write with red ink, and 
throw bombs upon occasion should be encour- 
aged to upset all our existing arrangements in 
order to introduce some untried scheme of 
his own does not commend itself to the judg- 
ment of those who really have the interests 
of the working people at heart. It has been 
well said that there are men all about us who 
undertake to doctor society on the strength 
of their own happy intuitions and their own 
love of hearing themselves explode. The 
term ** quack" which we apply to those who 
attempt to practice medicine in that same 
rough-and-ready fashion would be entirely in 
order here. ^^ 

The working people to-day will be misled 
if they think that breaking the wrists or the 
heads of men who refuse to join their indus- 
trial sect, or dynamiting the homes of men 
who insist upon their right to work on terms 
of their own choosing, or destroying the 
property of men who will not be converted 
to the particular theories advanced by certain^ 



agitators, will advance their interests. All 
this moral defiance and contempt for prin- 
ciple will react in frightful fashion npon 
those who undertake to practice it. It will 
fail inevitably, and it ought to fail. 

Every effort and every utterance which 
looks toward contempt for law or toward 
the spread of mob violence defeats the very 
ends it may have in view. The whole nation 
applauded the Governor of Kentucky a year 
ago when he upheld the majesty of the law. 
A colored man there had been guilty of a foul 
crime. He had been arrested, tried, con- 
victed, and sentenced to death. He was in 
prison awaiting the execution of that sen- 
tence when a mob undertook to break into 
the jail that it might lynch him or torture or 
burn him alive. Then the Governor told the 
mob that the state of Kentucky was under the 
reign of law and that he was there to enforce 
its demands. And he did it, even though it 
cost the lives of half a dozen of the leaders of 
that mob. White men and black men alike 
the country over approved the courage and 
the righteousness of his action. 
^ Here in this broad land, where all power 
belongs at last to the people, there is no man- 
ner of excuse for deeds of violence, for dyna- 
miting the homes and the places of business/^ 



belonging to others, or for assassination. If 
tiie laws are not right, change them. If they 
are not being enforced by the officials who are 
in power, let the people elect men who will 
enforce them. Here in this country authority 
is not handed down from above by some 
superman or supermen — it is handed up by 
the votes of the people themselves. And it is 
the last act of insane folly and of open 
wickedness for the working people or for any 
set of people to try to overthrow the orderly 
processes of government for which they them- 
selves are finally responsible in order to re- 
place them with the irresponsible action of 
mob violence. Let all such go off into the 
land of Midian to keep sheep, for forty years 
if need be, as Moses did, until they too learn 
the spirit and the temper in which social 
progress is achieved! 

But in order to avail ourselves of the value 
of such reflection, there must be opportunity 
for the open discussion of these high themes. 
The right to freedom of speech for which 
brave men in other days have fought and died 
must not be yielded up at the behest of small 
but well-financed groups of reactionaries. 
Let's talk it out together! By the beat and 
play of mind upon mind in the freest inter- 
change of thought and conviction touching 


these vast issues are we to make our way 
toward those conclusions which may be al- 
lowed to stand. 

Wise and cautious economists in all lands 
are gravely theorizing over the proper dis- 
tribution of what is produced between capital 
and management and labor. **But in the 
roar of the mill, in the machine shops, in 
mines, and in railways where labor is thrown 
together and organizes itself, this dispute 
over the respective shares is becoming so 
charged with hostilities that the legal and 
police system in most countries is put to the 
greatest strain. ^^ 

''This strain is increasing if we mean by 
that a growing determination on the part of 
labor to break down the kind of authority 
which ownership and management have as-^ 
sumed to be theirs. The strain means more ' 
than this because that part of our wage-earn- 
ers bent either upon the destruction of the 
wage system or upon very radical changes is a 
growing and a more determined proportion of 
our population. ' '* We must maintain at any 
cost within reason that dearly bought privi- 
lege of free speech, both as a fundamental 
human right and as a safety valve for that 

•Reprinted from Labor's Challenge to the Social Order (p. 423), by 
John Brooks, by permiasion fA the publishers, The Macmillan Company. 



high pressure of resentment which may so 
easily become a social menace. "^ 

In the third place, this ancient labor leader 
was finally fitted for his task by an open 
vision of God. He was inducted into a richer 
form of experience which gave him a vivid 
and immediate sense of the Divine. In the 
very forefront of his intellectual and moral 
landscape there came to be a Presence, Su- 
preme, August, Beneficent. This Presence 
was always there, enjoining upon men the 
performance of their duty, hallowing their 
worship, sanctifying their hearts, their ac- 
tions, and their purposes, directing them in 
their efforts to establish that quality of com- 
munity life worthy to be known as **His 
Kingdom." In a word, this labor leader be- 
came *'a man of Grod,'* and that one fact put 
iron in his blood, oxygen in the lungs of his 
moral nature, and gave reach and grasp to his 
aspiration. ^ 

He led his flock one day to the back of the 
desert, even to Horeb, the Mount of God. 
This rocky eminence was then regarded as 
the earthly dwelling place of the Hebrew 
Deity. He saw there a fire which burned but 
did not consume. He heard a voice which 
seemed divine. The voice spoke to him, not 
about his own personal salvation; it spoke 


not of some hope of happiness in a blessed 
hereafter. It spoke to him in terms of social 
interest touching his own immediate responsi- 


-^ What deep notes are struck by the four 
successive statements! — they fall upon our 
ears like the tolling of some distant cathedral 
bell: **I am the God of thy fathers. I have 
seen the affliction of my people who are in 
Egypt. I have heard their cry by reason of 
their taskmasters. I know their sorrows. I 
have come down to deliver them. ' ' It was the 
God of righteousness who was thus voicing 
his interest in a body of working people. 
^ How much it meant to that lonely shepherd 

^ there on the slopes of Horeb, thinking all the 
while of his fellow countrymen toiling as 

^slaves in the valley of the Nile! How much 
it means to us facing as we do the necessity 
for a larger measure of industrial peace and 
a more evenly spread prosperity here in our 
own great land! The assurance of the divine 
i nterest in all jhe se jprcLblems, of the divine, 
co mpassion for those who suffer hu rt, of the 
d ivme readiness to ^id in a worthy sa lution ! 
The outward setting of this scene is in a place 
and a time far removed from our modem 
American life, but the content of the picture 
applies to the conditions confronting us as 


directly as if it 'had all been written yester- 
day in the city of New York. God sees and 
God h earsl God knows^ and God is c ome 
do wn to aid in the delivera jice of any whose 
live s are^ade bitter by Jiard bondage . 

The people who think that God is only in- 
terested in us when we are reading our Bibles 
and saying our prayers, when we are going 
to church or taking the sacrament, must think 
that he is a Being narrow-minded and short- 
sighted. They must think that he is asleep 
most of the time, for only a small fraction of 
our thought and strength is consumed in the 
performance of these acts of devotion. God 
is interested in all these questions of wages 
and hours, in the sort of condition s wliicJi oB^ 
tarn uTmOls and in mines , in thej mployme nt 
of wo^en and children for those~exacting in- 
dustries which overtax and undermine their 
strength. He is inte rested in th at s ense of 
e conomic inseourit v.ln^the feeling of unoer- 
tainty touching employraent, in jthe dread^L 
anTu nsustained old age In which so many 
worke rs spend all the best years of thej r 
lives. He is saying to us as he said of old, 
'*l1&ave seen and I have heard; I know and 
I am come down" to aid in having all this 
changed for the better, 
I am fully aware that there are short- 



sighted men, needing glasses without know- 
ing it, who are inclined to brush the religious 
motive entirely aside. They insist upon * ' the 
economic interpretation of history," which is 
an ambitious attempt to account for every- 
thing on the basis of a single set of facts, 
leaving out of consideration other forces 
which are even more potent. They insist 
upon "the class struggle," forgetting ap- 
parently that **we are all members one of 
another," and if one class suffers, all the 
other classes suffer with it. They insist that 
everything may be trusted to 'Hhe push of 
self-interest," if only that self-interest can 
be made intelligent and organized, forgetting 
that the bravest deeds are done, the finest 
words are uttered, and the loveliest types of 
devotion are developed almost uniformly by 
the strength of motives altogether higher 
than anything to be found in the push of self- 
interest. These men all need to go back and 
stand with this ancient labor leader at Horeb 
until they too hear the same divine voice. y^ 

The narrow-minded selfishness of certain 
industrial leaders in England was recently 
rebuked by one of their own number in these 
telling phrases. * * Too many of us are saying 
these days, 'It's our turn now.' How many 
labor leaders have had a word to say in all 


these months about the worth of work done 
in honor? 'Fewer hours and more pay' has 
been the battle cry. The bad workman de- 
mands the same wage as the good, and the 
right of the employer to discharge is denied 
him by the threat of a boycott from the union. 
The labor leader has been no kinder to his 
own class than the former master of their 
fate has been. Capital squeezes out the weak 
competitor, but labor would cut off the chil- 
dren of a whole city from their milk for an 
added per cent in carrying it. The laborer 
would silence the telephone and let coal lie 
at the wharf in freezing weather for an in- 
creased wage while his neighbor shivers." 
Selfishness never did build a world fit for 
people to live in, and selfishness never can. 

I am an American citizen — it is the glory * 
of my life that my lot has been cast here 
under these friendly skies. I am proud of the 
history of our country, and I rejoice in the 
quality of the great men she has produced. 
You would all agree with me no doubt that 
the two greatest names, in our American his- 
tory are those of Washington and Lincoln. 
How much it means that they were both men 
of vision, men of faith, men of prayer ! You 
have all seen the picture of Washington on 
his knees at Valley Forge. He knelt there 



before God because he felt that the struggle 
of the colonies to achieve their independence 
and "to assume among the powers of the 
earth that separate and equal station to which 
the laws of nature and of nature ^s God en- 
titled them" could not succeed without divine 
help. yy 

You may also have seen John Drinkwater 's 
play where Abraham Lincoln stands before 
the map of the United States, erect, resolute, 
and determined. He was looking that map 
over, north, south, east, and west, as if he 
were conscious already that during his four 
years in the White House it would be blood- 
stained almost beyond recognition. Then a 
moment later, feeling his inadequacy to the 
great task laid upon him, you saw him kneel 
that he might receive divine help to save the 
Union and to write the charter of freedom 
for a subject race. In these great hard 
hours of the world's history, when the prob- 
lems of industry and of statesmanship are so 
grave that they fairly stagger the human 
mind and heart, what better thing can we 
do than to direct the people everywhere to 
look for aid and guidance from that same 
Infinite Source whence it was sought by 
Washington and by Lincoln! // 

The social question is always and every- 


where a great deal more than a question of 
bread and butter, of dollars and cents, of 
wages and hours. It is a question of human ^^ 
values. And for the gaining and maintenance 
of those higher values which are at stake in 
this huge process of production, distribution, 
and exchange, we need the religious motive 
and the power of spiritual vision. Without 
that we cannot succeed — ^with that, in the end, 
we cannot fail. // 

You, as students in De Pauw University, 
have a very direct responsibility in this mat- 
ter. The college man is under peculiar obliga- 
tions to use his training with fidelity and con- 
science. He has been put in trust with these 
advantages, now let him give a good account 
of his stewardship! He has received five 
talents of opportunity, now let him gain five 
talents more through competent service ! The 
torn and troubled condition of the world you 
are to live in has multiplied that standing 
obligation by ten. The spirit of unrest is ^ 
everywhere and the spirit of unreason has 
widened its domain. There are movements 
of thought and feeling just beneath the sur- 
face of our American life which are a menace 
to the strength and the stability of the Repub- 
lic. There is a loud call everywhere for men 
who can see, men who can think, men who 


can do the things which need to be done in this 
iday of rebuilding. ^ 

And the price of competence in meeting 
that obligation is hard, serious, manly study 
of the facts and principles which underlie 
these questions. You cannot hope to gain that 
knowledge of these economic and political 
problems, these educational and religious 
problems, which will enable you to do your 
bit by a series of clever guesses or on th^ 
strength of a few happy intuitions. The man 
who reads nothing in his morning paper but 
the sporting page and the amusement col- 
umns will not know what kind of a world he 
is living in. The man who has no taste for 
talking out with his fellows in serious fashion 
the graver issues will skate along over the 
surface of life and when he is brought up 
against some situation which offers a chal- 
lenge to the best powers which can be brought 
to bear he will show himself as helpless as a 
child. If you never did it before, do it now ! 
Take one long, square look at this world 
which has been torn to pieces by the Great 
War and then resolve once for all that by 
steady, strenuous effort you will fit yourself 
to perform your particular bit of that huge, 
hard task in this day of social rebuilding. 



The prophet Elijah has been called ''the 
Prophet of Fire." He was a red-hot sort of 
man. He first appears upon the scene with 
the threat of a coming drought which would 
scorch the land of Israel as a punishment 
for the wrongdoing of the people. His words 
of rebuke to the guilty king and queen who 
ruled and robbed the subject nation were like 
coals of fire. He sought to burn out the sin 
of the nation by the fervent heat of his moral 
indignation. He won his victory over the 
priests of Baal at the top of Mount Carmel 
by calling upon God to * ' answer by fire. ' ' He 
is said to have left this world *'in a chariot 
of fire." 

His flaming methods may have been im- 
perative. There are situations where fire is 
''indicated" as the physicians say in their 
careful diagnosis — no remedy less radical 
meets the situation. No soft-spoken, mild- 
mannered apostle discoursing on "sweetness 
and light" could have won out in the face of 






the flagrant, impudent wrongdoing of that 
day. The fever of sinfulness in the body of 
Israel 's life had reached such a stage that the 
hot poultice of denunciation was needed to 
blister the surface of the inflamed portion 
into some promise of recovery. It was said 
of the One who came to make all things new 
and to build an order of life which should 
manifest his glory, **He shall baptize you 
with the Holy Ghost and with fire. ' ' 

The king of Israel in Elijah's d ay was a 
wicked but weak-kneed individual whose 
name w as Ahab . While he was a mere boy 
his father had married him to a Tyrian prin- 
cess. It seemed to the short-sighted poli- 
ticians of that day a very clever thing to do. 
They nodded their heads in glad approval. 
It was ''good business" to have those valu- 
able Phoenician ports thus opened to Hebrew 
trade. More than that, an alliance by mar- 
riage with the rulers of Tyre in the north 
might strengthen Israel against the encroach- 
ments of Assyria, which had been pushing 
south with her victorious armies. It was be- 
fore the time of ''open covenants openly ar- 
rived at" and the clever diplomats may well 
kave found "fourteen points" where this al- 
liance with the kingdom of Tyre would be 
good for Israel. 


But there was a big, nasty fly in this pot 
of Phoenician ointment — in fact two of them. 
I wish to speak of them both in this story of 
that prophet who fought the wicked king. 

In the first place, 4he pr ophet fought 
again st iske. degradation of thenaHonal t^Oltf " 
6yme introduction of a false^moHe of wor- 
ship J? ' When this Phoenician princess mar- 
ried the young Hebrew king she brought with 
her not only a strange face and a strange 
tongue, she brought alien manners and an 
alien faith. She brought her pagan deities 
with her and called upon her husband to build 
an altar to the heathen god Baal in the valley 
of Samaria. She brought her pagan priests 
to maintain the religious cult to which she 
had been accustomed, for a princess must be 
allowed spiritual privileges of her own choos- 
ing. The first thing the Hebrew nation knew, 
it had a section of full-fledged heathenism set 
up in active operation at the very heart of its 
own life. 

It was no mere question of words and 
names ; the spelling of the title of their deity 
with four letters B-A-A-L, or with seven let- 
ters, J-E-H-0-V-A-H. It was a question of 
the character which those deities possessed in 
the minds of their respective worshipers. It 
was a question as to the influence of the 



homage paid them as registered upon the 
lives of men. Jehovah was a God of right- 
eousness, he was a covenant-making and a 
covenant-keeping God. 

The Semitic peoples were in that day, as 
they are to this hour, a bargaining people. 
The commercial instinct was present and ac- 
tive, giving them a quick sense of the sacred- 
ness of agreements and of the value of the 
principle of equivalents. And the moral 
teaching of the Hebrews was steeped in that 
idea. They believed beyond a peradventure 
that **with the same measure we mete it out, 
it shall be measured back to us again. ' ' They 
had scant regard for those backward and be- 
nighted races who gave their allegiance to 
gods who were notionate, whimsical, and not 
to be depended upon. The bargaining Semite, 
who knew the methods of honorable and 
profitable trade, insisted that the Almighty 
himself was a righteous Dealer who kept his 
word with his people and insisted that they 
too should stand to the bargains they had 
made with him. He was a covenant-making 
and a covenant-keeping God. 

In a word, the Jews had come to believe 
that Jehovah was a God of character — ^he 
would be pleased with obedience to the law of 
justice, mercy, and truth and with nothing 


less. Baal, on the other hand, was an idol 
with a friendly feeling for licentiousness. He 
was not inclined to make his devotees uncom- 
fortable in their sins. He never ' intruded 
upon them with any disturbing ideals. We 
can see at a glance how different would be 
the results wrought out by these respective 
cults of worship. ^ 

We may witness the same confusion of in- 
terest and the same outworking of diverse 
results in the homage paid in our modern life. 
We find many men and women who worship 
the living God, the God and Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ. He is a being of too pure 
eyes to look upon any kind of wrongdoing 
with approval. He calls upon those who wor- 
ship him for obedience, for devotion, for self- 
sacrifice. " Be ye holy, " he is forever saying 
to them by all the legitimate appointments of 
our Christian faith, *'for I am holy." 

But there are ot her men who m^ kpi \. c) thp-Tn^ 
selves images, not always from gold and sil- 
ver or from wood and stone. They frame u£ 

these little homemade deities from notions of 

" - — ■< 

their own choosmg. They want a religion 
which will not interfere with their self-indul- 
gent lives or with their money-getting accord- 
ing to methods which would not square with 
the Sermon on the Mount. They put in the 



place of God that which is not God ; and when 
any such substitution is made I care not how 
graceful and polite they may be about it, they 
too become out-and-out pagans. 

You will sometimes hear a man beating the 
air witti some empty claim like this : ' ' It does 
not matter what a man believe s if he is only 
sincere. If he is a sincere Moslem, it is just 
the'same as if he were a sincere Christian." 
And this religious moonshine is sometimes 
supposed to indicate a very advanced and lib- 
eral type of mind. 

But look at the effect of the Moslem re- 
ligion as compared with the Christian upon 
the status of woman, upon the proper nurture 
and training of childhood, upon the develop- 
ment of civic and economic ideals. Look at 
the conduct of the leading Christian nations 
of the world as compared with the conduct of 
the leading Moslem countries. Can anyone 
imagine any Christian nation on earth doing 
to any people what the Moslem government 
of Turkey has done to the helpless Arme- 
nians during the last twenty-five years? The 
slaughter of men, the outraging of women, 
the cruelty unspeakable to little children — 
all this was done not by some criminal out- 
laws who had broken away from the re- 
straints of government or by small groups of 




soldiers reacting from the stern discipline of 
military life in war time. It was done, as is 
almost universally believed, with the ap- 
proval, if not with the direct connivance, of 
the Moslem government at Constantinople. 
It does make a tremendous difference what 

en believe and how they worship. 

It is a mark of mental indolence and of 
moral laxity for anyone to maintain that it 
does not matter what one believes if only he 
is sincere. It is for every serious-minded 
person to make it the business of his life to 
square his faith with the facts so that his 
belief will point to spiritual reality as the 
needle to the pole. No other attitude could 
be acceptable to Him who said, '*I am the 
truth; and ye shall know the truth; and the 
truth shall make you free." The right sort 
of worship will free the life from all that 
hurts or hinders life ! 

When a man worships he holds before the 
eyes of his soul some supreme conception of 
spiritual excellence. He says to himself and 
to all hands : ' 'I adore that. I give to that the 
final allegiance of my heart. I swear to that 
an undying loyalty. I desire at last to be like 
that." If he is saying all this to a being of 
Holy Love, the effect of it upon his own in- 
most life will be one thing. If he is saying it to 



a Moslem deity of cruelty and bloodshed, or to 
a Phoenician deity of shameful indulgence, 
then the effect will be quite another thing. 
Choose you this day whom ye will serve in 
that final dedication of your life ! 

The nation as well as the individual is pos- 
sessed of and by that which may fittingly be 
called a soul. The nation develops and cher- 
ishes certain traditions and sentiments which 
are as the very breath of life to its nostrils. 
The high moods and feelings which find ex- 
pression in its music, its poetry, and its art 
have in them a certain something which, like 
the word of God, is "living, powerful, and 
sharper than a two-edged sword.'* The state 
does not live by bread alone — there are cer- 
tain forms of energy unseen but mighty which 
are as much a part of its life as its agricul- 
ture, its manufactures, and its commerce. 
When the captain of an English ship (which 
had struck an iceberg and was fast sinking) 
stood on the bridge and called out to the 
sailors to put the women and children in the 
lifeboats first, regardless of their own safety, 
coupling his command with this stout appeal, 
"Be British, men!" he was summoning into 
action the national soul. His summons was 
not in vain — the common sailors rose to it in 
heroic mood. And the development and main- 


tenance of this finer quality of national soul 
is most intimately bound up with the style 
and manner of the worship the nation ob- 

This weak-kneed king of Israel, shiver- 
ing in the presence of the pagan princess he 
had married, first tolerated, then encouraged, 
and at last openly allied himself with the 
degrading worship of Baal. Then the 
prophet ^^li^h appeared upon the scene and 
p roposed that the yival claimants u BQg- Jha 
allegiance of the people should besub jected 
t Q^this test .]) He suggested that he and the 
priests of Baal should build two altars upon 
the top of Mount Oarmel; that they should 
lay their sacrifices upon the altars and then 
call upon their respective deities to answer 
by fire. And the ^god who actually answered L 
bg^ fire_jEas_ to ^e proclaimed j ^e^^Jgod^of 
Israel. The proposal met with instant and 
hearty approval at the hands of the people 
who had been halting between two opinions. 
They uttered their indorsement in a great 
shout — .''It is well spoken." 

The plan proposed was carried out, and 

rtl^e contrast in that scen e ^u pon the crest o f 

Mount cTanhel'iyas v^lriking^ On one side 

four hundred and fifty priests of Baal, on 

the other side Elijah standing alone! On one 



side the well-dressed objects of the royal 
favor, fat, sleek, and well fed from the table 
of Jezebel ; on the other side Elijah, the Tish- 
bite, half naked, with a leather girdle about 
his loins, gaunt, thin, shaggy, as a man who 
had claimed his scanty fare from the ravens. 
On one side the king and queen, yet with noth- 
ing to aid them save an empty, useless idol 
as the object of their misguided devotion ; on 
the other side the single-handed prophet of 
the living God who had at his command le- 
gions of spiritual forces greater than all the 
armies of earth. 

The people gathered on the hillside and 
sat through the livelong day with Oriental 

yjL , patience. The priests of Baal called upon 
^^V^ their deity from morning until noon. They 

•^ \, worked themselves into a frenzy of excite- 
ment like the howling dervishes of the East. 
V They cut themselves with knives until the 

\J^ blood gushed forth in token of their des- 
perate earnestness. They cried incessantly, 
"Oh Baal, hear us! Oh Baal, hear us!" But 
*Hhere was neither voice nor any to answer 
nor any that regarded," the sober record 
says. All their frantic efforts availed noth- 
ing. They were earnest, they were sincere, 
they were persistent, but there was nothing 
there. There was no such deity as Baal in 




existence, and they might well have saved 
their breath and their blood. 

Then in the quiet of the evening hour the 

p rophet Elij ah put his cl aims to th e_test^ JU 

There was no rant, no frenzy, no cutting of i 

his flesh with knives. He was calm and con- 
fident as one who prayed to the living God. 
"Oh thou God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, 
let it be known this day that thou art God 
and that I am thy servant. Hear me, that 
these people may know that thou art God and 
that thou mayest turn their hearts back 
again. ' * 

"Then thefire_fell^" we read, on the altar 
of JeEovan and i£ebumt offering was con- 
sumed. The people rose to it — the God who 
answered by actual achievement commanded 
their allegiance. They uttered their cry, 
"Jehovah is God! Jehovah is God!'' until it 
echoed and reechoed acix)ss the plain of 
Bsdraelon, which has witnessed so many vic- 
tories of right over wrong. 

This scene on Mount Carmel may be taken 
aa a dra matic and poetic presentation of the 
wi der tesFwh icE^is s tea^RTy l^eing ji ppllfif^ ^9 - 
{ be rival clai manisjiip oa our alje^iaBce. Let 
the religion which answers by facts of expe- 
rience, by renewed hearts, by loftier moral 
purposes, by increased spiritual vigor and 


by finer forms of usefulness stand supreme! 
Let every form of faith be judged by its 
fruits I If paganism and infidelity would only 
bring forward something more than clever 
theories, we might take them seriously. If 
they would only undertake an exhibit of the 
sound, moral results consequent upon the ac- 
ceptance of their interpretation of the su- 
preme verities, we would then have something 
to speak to other than a mere array of idle 
talk. In the meantime, let that religion which 
answers in terms of Christian effort, reaching 
out in the name of Christ with the hospital, 
the school, and the church into every nation 
under heaven and into every section of hu- 
man need, stand supreme I 

In the second place, this prophet of God 
fought against the social injustice of this 
wicked king. There was a clajh o f interest 
bet ween a pri vate citizen ^ nam ed HaEQtETand, 
A£ab, t he king. Naboth had a vineyard near 
the king's palace, and the monarch desired it 
for a garden of herbs. But the land had been 
in Naboth 's family for many years and he 
refused to sell. "The Lord forbid that I 
should give the inheritance of my fathers 
unto thee." Then the king was ** peeved." 
He went back to his palace heavy and de- 
pressed. He lay down upon his bed, turned 


his face to the wall and would not eat. He 
was a man of small build and this petty, 
childish humor was thoroughly characteristic. 

But Jezebel, his queen , was no such weak- t ^^JlJ' 
ling. * ' Why is thy spirit so sad ? ' ' she asked. ^ 
When he told her the occasion of his disap- ^^^^^ 
pointment, she laughed in his face. That was (\.Jt<^ 
not the way things were done in Tyre nor by |^ I ^ ^ 
kings generally in that rude age. ''Rise and'^'^Tj 
eat bread," she said, "and let thine heart be 
merry. I will give thee the vineyard of 
Naboth." "Lady Macbeth will show the 
Thane of Cawdor how to become king. There 
is always a way to be bad. The gate of hell 
stands wide open, or, if half -closed, a touch 
will make it fly back. The road is broad that 
leads to destruction and the going is easy." 
Jezebel will not let "I dare not" wait upon 
"I would." She was not "too full of the milk 
of human kindness to catch the nearest way. ' ' 
She believed in *^ direct action J' 

She decided, however, to show some regard ]/W a^ 
for the outward decencies. She would dress li^i^JL 
up her wolfish deed in sheep's clothing. She/ 
would be properly ceremonious about it. She 
wrote letters in the king's name and said, 
"Proclaim a fast! Ring the church bell! 
Put on a surplice! Say, 'Lord, Lord,' and 
sing the long-meter Doxology through twice, 




for the queen is about to do an evil deed in 
the name of religion. ' ' 

When the fast was proclaimed Naboth, by 
rt«^AM)rder of the queen, was given an exalted po- 

'q>-^ sition among the people. Then two paid liars 
Jr-? were brought forward to swear that during 

r^ the fast they had heard him blaspheme God 
and the king. On this trumped-up charge of 
blasphemy and treason — the same two charges 

f"^^ brought against Jesus Christ — Naboth was 
"^ taken out and stoned to death. Then his 
property was confiscated by the state as the 
property of a man convicted of treason. He 
was branded a felon and the land was duly 
turned over to the king, who had coveted it 
for a flower garden. 

What an admirable plan for robbing an in- 
nocent man of his land and of his life ! Jezebel 
was an artist in wrongdoing. She knew how 
to turn the trick with neatness and dispatch. 
The program went through without a single 
hitch like a well-arranged church wedding 
rehearsed in advance. Where there is a will 
there is a way. What are the Ten Command- 
ments among friends I When Naboth had been 
stoned to death on the false charge, Jezebel 
said to her husband, "Arise and take your 
vineyard, for Naboth is dead." 

V , What an hour for a prophet of righteoDS- 

«-' t^ 

1\ A h ''^- 


ness ! His work was all cut out for him and 
laid ready to his hand. He saw even in that 
far-off time that private citizens have rights 
which cannot be overridden by wicked kings 
or by grasping queens. He would let those 
selfish, cruel monarchs know that there was a 
God in Israel who could not be trifled with. 
He was the tribune of the people, the first 
great Commoner proclaiming his message 
from on high that * * the welfare of the people 
is the highest law of the land." 

This man of God knew little or nothing 
about the political forms of modern democ- 
racy, but he had the spirit of it. He walked 
by faith and not by sight, not having received 
the promises but having seen them afar off. 
He was persuaded of the fitness of that better 
mode of life and he embraced it and confessed 
himself a stranger and a pilgrim in such a 
world as Ahab and Jezebel would have made 
it. He was heart and soul for a better coun- 
try. He would have .joined heartily in this 
great hjonn of praise^ had it been current in 
his day: 

"We knelt before kings and we bent before lords. 
For theirs were the crowns and theirs were the swords. 
But the times of the bending and bowing are past, 
For the day of the people Is dawning at last. 

'Reprinted from ChriBtian Internationalism (p. 80), by W. P. Merrill, 
by penmission of the publishers, The Macmilian Company. 


"Great Day of the Lord! The prophets and seers 
Have sung of thy coming these thousands of years. 
On the wings of war's whirlwind God's judgments fly 

And the Day of the People is dawning at last." 




The ugly deed of Ahab had been done at 
»^night — Naboth was put out of the way under 
,cover of darkness. But the wicked king was 
awake next morning at daybreak. He started 
down at sunrise to take possession of the 
coveted vineyard. He rode in military state 
from Samaria to Jezreel, but his joy was 
short-lived. The news of his crime had come 
to Elijah, and this prophet of God was on 
hand to utter his protest against this act of 
villainy. When the king drove up to the gate 
of the vineyard, there stood the sturdy figure 
the prophet with eyes like coals of fire. 

y^^ Half in anger and half in anguish, for he 
saw that he had sinned in vain, the king 
sobbed out, ''Hast thou found me, mine 
enemy?" The stern reply came back, "I 

\^' have found thee, because thou hast sold thy- 
self to do evil." 

Here was wrongdoing facing righteousness 
— and it was ashamed and afraid. Here was 
guilt facing conscience and it trembled and 
shivered like a leaf in the wind. Here was the 
whole method of seeking pleasure in ways 



which God does not approve, having the cup 
of joy dashed from its lips. The king thought 
that he was going down that pleasant morn- 
ing to take possession of a lovely vineyard, 
but what he found in waiting was the day of 
judgment in the person of that prophet of the 
Lord. He went down to play with his flower 
garden like a child with a new toy and he 
had his death warrant read to him. '' 

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh at 
our puny efforts to outwit him. Be_sure_ymir 
sin wil Hind you out ! (r od is not mocked. What 
a man sows he reaps, and the harvest matches 
the seed in kind and in amount. We live not in 
a world of chance nor of magic, nor of end- 
less good nature — we live under the reign of 
law, where every man will be judged accord- 
ing to the deeds done in the body. 

Then follows that terrible denunciation of 
the king and the queen for their social injus- j y\A/Y^ 
tice. ''Thou hast sold thyself to do evil. The (^jgj^ 
Lord will bring evil upon thee. The Lord saw 
last night the blood of Naboth — where the 
dogs licked the blood of Naboth the dogs shall 
lick thine. And the dogs shall eat Jezebel." 

Tj; wn« R fft^ rf nl threat a nd fearfully^ was^it . 

fulfilled- When we turn to^the laterhistory 
of this guilty king and queen, we find the 
gruesome narrative which records the fulfill- 


ment of that dire prediction. When Jehu 
came to the throne, Ahab, the king, was slain 
in an open field, and the dogs mutilated his 
remains. Then Jehu drove to the royal 
palace in his chariot. He saw Jezebel, the 
queen, looking out from an upper window. 
She had painted her face and arrayed herself 
in finery, hoping by her personal attractions 
to placate his wrath. He promptly ordered 
her eunuchs to throw her out of the window. 
The eunuchs saw that Jehu was now in the 
ascendant and they instantly complied with 
his stern command. "Throw her down," 
he said, and when they threw her to the pave- 
ment, her blood was sprinkled on Jehu's 
borses. He drove his chariot over her in ruth- 
less fashion and went in to his dinner. When 
he had eaten, he said to his servants, "This 
cursed woman was a princess, the daughter 
of a king — ^see to it iiiat she is decently 
buried." But when the servants went forth 
to bury her the record says that ' ' they found 
no more than her skull and the bones of her 
feet and hands." The dogs had eaten and 
carried away all the rest. "I have seen the 
wicked in great power and spreading himself 
like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, 
and, lo, he was not. Yea, I sought for hina, 
but he could not be found." 



This prophet of the living God stood for 
the supremacy of the moral law. He believed 
that Mount Sinai was the highest peak on the/Uj|A|^^^ 
face of the globe. The king had sinned 
against Naboth and against those principles 
of social justice which underlie all human y^O jy 
wellbeing and advance. He had sinned 
against Him who has all these sacred in- 
terests of his people in his holy hands. The 
king had made himself the enemy of the race 
by using his strength to oppress the weak. 
And because there was a God in Israel, that 
sort of thing could not go unpunished. The 
sharp-toothed dogs of the divine penalty were 
sure to reach the offender at the last. 

Have we not need of the same sort of mes- 
sage from on high here in our own day? 
A hflb is still amogg ^s and Naboth stilj 
s uffers wrong. The strong still use their ad- 
vantage at times to oppress the weak. While 
the war was on there was a nother wa r being 
fought out in all the land^^f^eartJi. IteTvic^ 
tories and its defeats were not always re- 
ported on the front page of the paper with 
headlines and pictures. The advances and 
retreats could not always be indicated by 
pinning rows of little flags on some map of 
the world ; but it was none the less a real war. 

Xt_was the war of the exploited against the 



exploiter^ big and little, rascally and respec- 
table, personal and corporate. It was the 
war of those who actually serve society by 
the useful labor of hand or of brain against 
those who have fallen into the easy, disgrace- 
ful habit of eating their bread by the sweat 
of some other man's brow. And the armistice 
in that war will never be signed until the 
questions involved have been settled and 
have been settled right. 

It must be steadily borne in mind that 
privi lege crea tgs rpspmi^ibility.. <'To whom 
much is given of him will much be required. ' ' 
* * To own is to owe. ' ' It was Ibsen who said, 
"A man's gifts are not a property; they are 
a duty. ' ' The bare fact of possession means 
obligation. When the Lord of the whole earth 
has planted a vineyard thick with high privi- 
lege; when he has hedged it about in provi- 
dential fashion with opportunities unparal- 
leled ; when he has built the tower and dug the 
wine vat and provided all the necessary facili- 
ties for rewarding effort, he has a clear right 
to receive the fruits of that vineyard in terms 
of competent and unselfish service rendered 
by the recipients of his bounty. 

We have yet a long way to go in our mod- 
em American life before that sense of stew- 
ardsihip in the enjoyment of privilege is 


recognized and realized. "When thousands 
of newspapers are owned by groups that use 
the power of the press for purposes other 
than moneymaking ; when no man is honored 
simply because he wastes more than his fel- 
lows ; when the great material needs of life, 
which are limited in amount, are in the hands 
of the community; when the great mass of 
ordinary business is in one form or another 
cooperative, then shall we be able to guide 
the flood of human thought and purpose away 
from personal ambition and fear. Then rea- 
son and sympathy may become indeed the 
master-motives. It cannot be said that such 
a life has heretofore failed, for it has never 
been tried — individuals have lived it, but or- 
ganized society has never made the effort. 
For the first time since the world began we 
have the natural and technical resources. 
Therefore such a life is more possible to-day 
than ever in the past, granted the will — a will 
so strong and so moral as rightly to be called 

If we are to advance toward the realization 
of these high hopes there must come a radical 
change of heart and a new mood in certain 
quarters. The spirit of arrogance is alto- 
gether too much in evidence in these troub- 
lous times. It is a day which calls for wise 



and patient action. Hear these words uttered 
not by some reckless soap-box orator, but by 
Franklin H. Giddings, of Columbia Univer- 
sity, one of the most eminent sociologists in 
this country : 
"^^ *' There are three million unemployed in- 
dustrial working persons, men and women, in 
the United States now, and probably there 
will be more. Wages are being reduced. 
These reductions of force and pay were fore- 
seen, and, by and large, they were inevitable. 
The wage reductions for the most part are 
proper in relation to the partial breakdown 
of industry and the downward tendency of 

"Unhappily there is another factor in the 
situation that is neither necessary nor justi- 
fiable. This is the vindictive and rather 
brutal spirit in which a great deal of the 
squeezing and cutting is being done, and the 
quite unnecessary extent to which construc- 
tive measures, the product of much patient 
thinking and careful experimenting for the 
better adjustment of relations between capi- 
tal and labor, are being thrown into the dis- 
card. Let it be said at once that the wiser 
and more far-seeing employers are not guilty. 
But there is a rabble of industrial upstarts, 
new-rich profiteers, unintelligent, vulgar ruf- 



fians, who have made millions of ill-gotten 
gains out of war conditions, who are now 
drunk with new power and obviously dis- 
posed to go the limit in displaying it. 

"A program of smashing and repression 
is proclaimed. Labor legislation is to be at- 
tacked and, wherever possible, repealed; 
labor organizations are to be crippled or 
broken and 'the welfare stuff' cut out. The 
'fool machinery' of adjustment boards, pro- 
tocols, industrial relations committees, em- 
ployment secretaries, and 'all that sort of 
thing, ' are to be scrapped, and employers will 
get back to 'the good old way, the simple 
plan' of dealing with 'the hired help' on the 
'take it or leave it' basis. It is no secret that 
this attitude was a big factor in the election, 
and that it will play a large part in State 
and national politics throughout the present 
year and perhaps for a longer time. ' ' 

"It is a wild and foolhardy sowing of 
dragons' teeth. Grant that there has been 
provocation. There has been plenty of it. 
Labor has been arrogant. Throughout the 
war it had the whip hand and took advantage 
of its opportunity. Revolutionary injfluences 
controlled some of the organizations and pro- 
fessional agitators did immeasurable harm. 
Crazy talk about a social revolution became 


organized propaganda and often developed 
into direct action. A great deal of unwise 
and coddling legislation has been put on the 
statute books. The saner and more conserva- 
tive labor organizations, as well as the radi- 
cal ones, have stupidly maintained the policy 
of restricting production, of penalizing ener- 
getic and faithful service, and of carrying 
incompetents at full pay. They have fought 
discharges of worthless and crooked em- 
ployees and made ' organization issues ' out of 
their cases. 

**It is human nature to return evil for evil, 
and now that employers have the whip hand 
retaliation is to be expected. Nevertheless 
it is folly. Wisdom prescribes a thoughtful 
study of the entire problem, a firm insistence 
upon the rights of property and of manage- 
ment, a cool-headed resumption of control 
over production, and a patient attempt to ad- 
just real differences of interest where these 
do not involve sacrifice of personal liberties, 
efficiency, and honorable keeping of agree- 
ments. Never were constructive measures, 
enlightened views, and patient effort more 
imperatively needed than now. ' ' 

The nations of the earth are_ being chal- 
l enged m t nese grim times to decl ar e openly 
b y what sort of principles they mean to live. 



They are being sTimmoned to show of what 
sort of moral stuff they are composed. They 
are being called upon to exhibit the measure 
of moral opposition they can offer to that 
bulk and mass of material force and national 
immorality which brought upon the race the 
disaster of the Great War. And whether 
they like it or not, they must stand up and be 
counted for or against the principle that 
''might makes right," for or against the idea 
that any government is at liberty to do any 
frightful thing it may choose in order to 
''ha,ck its way through," for or against the 
idea that a ruthless class struggle is the 
proper way to deal with industrial problems. 
And it is for every nation which has not lost 
its soul to make clear beyond a peradventure 
that it holds the moral issues supreme and 
stands ready to commit all its interests to the 
keeping of those principles of right which are 
at last to determine the outcome. "' 

There are certain great social principles 
which are now being urged on countless fields 
with all the power of moral imperatives. The 
world is indeed to be made ' ' safe for democ- 
racy," but it must be a more real and thor- 
oughgoing democracy than anything we have 
yet seen if it is to stand the test of the trying 
times which await us. And for the realization 


of those great social ideals there must be in 
every land of earth a more resolute and 
aspiring national soul. The man who thinks 
that brawn and brains alone, without the re- 
newing and directing power of spiritual 
forces at their best, can secure and safeguard 
human well-being and advance thereby writes 
himself down a fool. 

In all this work of social repair those wise 
words~oF t^"British LaborJpafty^_which 
stand as one of the great pronouncmnejits 
called forth by the war, may well Jbe^ b^rne in 
mind: **If we are to escape from the decay 
of civilization itself, we must build a new 
social order based not on fighting but on fra- 
ternity, not on a competitive struggle for the 
bare means of life but upon a deliberately 
planned cooperation in production and dis- 
tribution for the benefit of all who partici- 
pate by hand or by brain ; not on the enforced 
domination over subject nations, subject 
races, subject classes, or a subject sex, but 
on equal freedom in industry as well as in 
government, upon that general consciousness 
of consent and that widest possible participa- 
tion in power which is characteristic of 

The privileged lives are very much in evi- 
dence these days. They dwell on the sunny 



side of the street. They are clothed in purple 
and fine linen. They fare sumptuously every 
day on the best the market affords. They 
ride swiftly to and fro in limousines or in 
parlor cars. They are possessed as often as 
not with sound health, clear heads and all the 
advantages of training, culture, and social 

Well and good — all these choice things are 
not to be despised ; they count in the final out- 
come ! But let it be kept clearly in mind that 
all the se advantages spell obligation in capi - 
tal letters ^ *'To him that hath shall be 
given," the Master said. It is always easier 
to get on when you are on already. And then 
swift on the heels of that statement came the 
principle involved — * ' To whom much is given 
of him will much be required." High privi- 
lege carries with it responsibilities which 
cannot be evaded. . 

In many communities, even in this land of /jO 
freedom, the strong still use their strength to a I 
oppress the weak. I lived for nearly fifteen / > ^ 
years in the State of California. It is a great ^ ^ 
oil-producing State. A group of my friends, / . 
all of them men of modest means, were pur- ^T^A/^ 
chasing a tract of oil land which promised /v^ 
good returns. They invited me to invest in ^\/ 
what seemed a safe and profitable enterprise. yjL/" 




I did not have very much money but I put in 
five hundred dollars of my savings with the 
others. The wells were sunk and they struck 
oil in abundance. There was a most encour- 
aging and profitable flow of oil from those 

Then the company naturally desired to ship 
its oil to market, and it applied to the rail- 
road for cars, as the tanks were all full and 
the oil was still flowing. But somehow there 
was a delay in getting cars. Then there was 
a further delay, and the delay continued. The 
oil was still flowing and was going to waste. 
It did not seem possible to ship any of that 
oil to market. And when the truth was fer- 
reted out it was found that a certain large 
concern here in the United States, which is 
also in the oil business, controlled in under- 
handed, sinister fashion that railroad and 
pretty much all of the shipping facilities in 
the State of California. And this concern 
had instructed the railroad that no cars were 
to be furnished to this company because they 
wished to purchase those wells and that oil 
land at their own price. 

The owners of the smaller concern were 
utterly helpless — they could not ship their 
oil, and it was useless. They were finally 
compelled to sell at the price offered by the 



larger concern, which was far below the value 
of the property. The price received scarcely 
met the cost of sinking the wells and so we 
lost all we had put in. It was not justice. 
It was not the sort of commercial method 
which makes for the well-being of society or 
for the stability of the republic. In plain 
English, it was an act of high-handed rob- 
bery. And that sort of oppression is being 
practiced to-day in many oonmiunities here in 
our own land. » 

In the face of such practices we are mov- »V^ 
ing swiftly to that point where capital may ^-"^i*^ 
be compelled to choose between confiscation Wj-A* 
such as it has suffered in the empire of^A.^^ 
Russia o^r conse cration to those worthier ends ' 
which would be its highest honor and abiding 
happiness in the kingdom of God. The 
Naboths of the twentieth century will not 
tamely submit to exploitation at the hands of 
the Ahabs who have it in their power to 
wrong the weak. 

The hour has struck for a great forward 
mov ementjn the establishment o f social ;ius^ 
tice thr ou ghout the world. It is a task which 
will require untold amounts of energy and 
of knowledge, of vision and of patience. The 
bitterness of the class struggle must be re- 
placed by an increased spirit of fair play and 


cooperation. The secrecy and self-seeking 
of partisan politics must be overborne by an 
open-minded sense of justice and of concerted 
effort for the larger well-being of all the na- 
tions. The school must be made to realize 
yet more profoundly the moral imperative of 
translating knowledge into action and of in- 
terpreting life afresh in terms of abiding 
worth. And ''religion itself must be recov- 
ered from the bondage of unproved dogma 
and of unattractive ritual to be established 
in the freedom of the faith, in the winsome- 
ness of a finer form of goodness, and in the 
larger efficiency of a united strength." 

There are mountains of obstacles to be 
overcome in realizing these great ideals. Just 
so ! But it is the high office of faith to move 
mountains. Faith can stand up and say, 
"Fear not, only believe!" Believe in your- 
self and in the sincerity of your own pur- 
poses. If you cannot do that without flinch- 
ing, then put yourself right so that you can ! 
Believe in your fellows — it may easily be that 
many of them, perhaps most of them, are as 
good as you are. Believe in God who is above 
all and through all and in us all. And in that 
high faith go forth and win. 

The man of G-od, w hether he be lav or 
clerical, has a great opportunity in this day 


of social agitation and unrest. Let him be a 
man of principle and of conviction, let him be 
a man sure of his facts and possessed of an 
honest sympathy for all who suffer from 
social injustice, and he too will find his work 
cut out and ready for him. Tt. is fp;;^ ||ia /^ q 
c hurch of Jesus Ch rist to make it plain b e- ^ jUX^ 
yond a peradventure that if a man stands for I n 

commercial and industrial methods which u-^^-cA 
mean injustice and oppression, the mere ac- i-s,,jt_^ 
ceptance of a sound theology, or a more 
scrupulous attention to the forms of religion, 
will not suffice to save him from the conse- 
quences of that wrongdoing. It is for the 
church to make it clear that showy gifts to 
charity and large schemes of benevolence 
made possible by gains gotten in immoral 
ways will not atone for acts of social injus- 
tice. It is for every man to get his money as 
well as to give it away according to methods 
which the Almighty can approve. 

When I was a pastor in California there 
was an outlook from the belfry of my church 
which was most suggestive. I could enter 
that church steeple and look straight out 
through the Golden Gate upon the world's 
widest sea. I could see coming in the great 
ocean liners of the Pacific Mail, the Korea, 
the Siberia, the Manchuria, and the Mongolia, 



their very names suggestive of our points of 
contact across the water. I knew that deep 
down in the holds of those ships there were 
the teas and the silks, the teakwood and the 
lacquer and all the other treasures of the 
Orient sent hither to enrich and to adorn our 
American life. 

Through the port holes of the steerage of 
those ships I could sometimes see strange 
faces and hear the murmur of alien tongues. 
I could see men and women coming hither 
to better their condition in this land of oppor- 
tunity. And behind those who actually came, 
I could see across that widest of all our 
oceans a multitude of beseeching faces like 
those mystic faces which make up the back- 
ground of Raphael's Sistine Madonna in the 
gallery at Dresden. They too were looking 
this way. They were looking in through the 
Golden Gate at my church steeple. They 
were looking toward this Christian civiliza- 
tion of ours as if dimly conscious that we had 
here discovered a source of divine help to 
which their imperfect faith was a stranger. 

The moral appeal which all that made to 
me was tremendous. And I feel sure at this 
hour that all of those men and women who 
suffer hurt and wrong here in our own broad 
land at the hands of an unjust social system 



are in similar fashion looking up at all the 
church steeples with an unvoiced appeal in 
their hearts. And they will not acquit us of 
our responsibility unless we are bent upon 
delivering to them in more generous measure 
all those higher elements of our Christian 
civilization which are made possible to us 
through the gospel of Jesus Christ. They 
are making their steady appeal to the spirit- 
ual forces, symbolized by those church 
steeples, for aid of a higher sort in the solu- 
tion of these vexing problems of industrial 

Personally, I do not believe that their de- y tf^^^^ 
liverance will come by any sort of social revo- A^V ^^ 
lution. I do not believe that the advance of vij "^xX/ 
social sympathy and the more complete ex- L ^ 

pression of that sympathy in better institu- 5^ ^ i 
tions and in a more finely organized life will (jAk^*^ 
mean that private ownership of the means of \ \ry\Mi 
production will entirely disappear as the L \i 
socialists desire, or that such private owner- \ yWV*" 
ship ought to disappear. I do not believe n 

that all competition will cease or that it could "^ \j 
entirely cease without a resultant loss of in- ^^x (M^ 
centive to effort which we are not ready to ' v^^^i 
incur. I do not believe that superior per- /Vv^^ 
sonal endowment and untiring industry will 
cease to command a reward altogether excep- 


tional — I think that it is altogether best that 
they should continue to command such a re- 
ward. The exceptional rewards now held out 
to such ability put a premium upon and effec- 
tively stimulate the production and develop- 
ment of those useful qualities in the lives of 
many who might not show themselves equally 
responsive to any other form of motive. 

In the judgment of many there is need that 
certain elements in our social order should be 
more strongly championed at this time. 
"There is," as Theodore S. Woolsey has said, 
' ' a world-wide attack upon the rights of pri- 
vate property taking shape in a variety of 
forms from the blatant doings of Bolshevism 
to the subtler theories of national ownership 
and of the taxation of the savings of the 
thrifty out of existence which, if successful, 
will remove the principal incentive to labor. 
^^^ ^/v^The basis of civilization is not humanitarian- 
' jv ism; it is the maintenance of personal and 
t y* ^-'property rights by a system of self-imposed 
jK/^^ law." 

//'' ij All this too I steadfastly believe, but I hold 
Vji^^V" none the less that by the ever-widening sway 
'^ y^ and rule of the spirit of Christ all these 
*/' V , kingdoms of business and of politics, of edu- 
V' >j^cation and of recreation, of home life and 
J^^^^''^social life, must become kingdoms of our 


Lord in the sense that they shall steadily and 
consistently express his method and spirit. 
How tremendously it would strengthen our 
confidence in the moral supremacy of Chris- 
tianity as we send forth our representatives 
to those non-Christian nations were we here 
at home wise enough, strong enough, and 
good enough to make our own nation more 
truly Christian! How magnificent would be 
the moral challenge and the spiritual appeal 
we could make did our missionaries go forth 
from a nation of free men organized and 
working together in that spirit of intelligent 
good will which is the very essence of the 
Gospel of Jesus Christ ! We can never stand 
right with the God of all the higher values, or 
right in the eyes of the outer world, or right 
in our own eyes until we are striving reso- 
lutely to make this total life of ours like a 
holy city descending out of the realm of 
vision and dream into the realm of accom- 
plished fact, a holy city where God himself 
shall dwell and reign forever and ever. 



My whole approacli to these industrial 
problems is naturally sympathetic. My 
father was a workingman — ^he worked all his 
life with his hands. He was a farmer in the 
Middle West. He brought up his children to 
work with their hands. There is no sort of 
farm work, from the turning of the first fur- 
row in the spring to the gathering in of the 
last nubbin of corn in the fall which I have 
not done, day in and day out, week in and 
week out. I have come in many a time from 
the field at night so tired that I scarcely cared 
to eat my supper — I only wanted to tumble 
into bed to get the rest needed for the next 
day's work. 

Therefore, when I see a group of working- 
men coming out of a mill or a mine or a fac- 
tory, weary and depleted at the end of the 
day's toil, I know precisely how they feel. 
When I hear them talk about bettering their 
condition, it is no academic question for me — 
I feel it in my bones and in my flesh which 




have been wearied by the same sort of expe- 
rience which they are undergoing now. ^ 

This man whose words we are to study in^'^'^'^ 
this lecture made his approach to the prob- t/^A-*- 
lems of his day by the same direct route. ^^X/^IaA^'^^ 
lived with his feet on the bare ground even <y^juix>*^ 

when his head was among the stars. He was ___ 

not clothed in soft raiment — he came, like his 
successor in the time of Christ, rough in dress 
and rude in manner. He was emphatically 
an outdoor man with the smell of the soil in 
his garments and the accents of farm life in 
his rugged speech. He was one of those 
homely, weather-beaten people who make po- 
tent appeal to us all. y . 

The word of the Lord as it fell from his ^^M"^ 
lips was a word with the bark on it. He was {^J/iC{/\ - 
not a Matthew Arnold discoursing about 
*' sweetness and light,'* with a polite scorn for 
the ways of the unwashed. He was a Thomas 
Carlyle, with a bite in his tongue and a hot 
hatred in his heart for all manner of sham. 
He was no reed shaken with the wind — he 
was built out of quartered oak. 

He was once accused of preaching for the 
money there was in it. He scorned the impu- 
tation. ''No prophet am I" (in the profes- 
sional sense he meant), "nor prophet's son. 
I am a herdsman from Tekoa and a dresser 



of sycamore trees." He kept a few sheep on 
his meager farm and had a grove of sycamore 
trees, which were not like our sycamores — 
they bore a weak and watery sort of fig which 
was eaten only by the very poor. 
. He lived six miles south of Bethlehem, at a 
Jplace called Tekoa. The region is as hilly 
ks New Hampshire and about twice as rocky. 
' - - '^ It was said that the shepherds of Tekoa had 
to sharpen the noses of their sheep to enable 
them to get down between the stones and nip 
the green grass. It was a rugged, meager 
sort of life which this man had lived, and we 
can understand his instant hearty sympathy 
with all the struggling people of his day. He 
had eaten the hard fare of ill-paid labor. 

He was what the "safe-and-sane" people — ■ 
which often means people who have been 
dead for some time but are still going about 
in order to save funeral expenses — ^would 
have ca lled ^;\^ « gi ^« ^<^f ' ' Amos was once_ 
ajked in peremptory fashion t o leave the 
c ountry for fear his words might st jr up the 
oppress e^poo r t^ revolJLagainst their lords 
and masters. He told his critics thaOie Wa5 
i^onstrained to stay right there on his job. 
The word of the Lord had come to him and 
speak he must. ''The word of the Lord," as 
they used the phrase, did not mean a book. It 


was the phrase by which those early Hebrews 
simply and accurately described one of those 
commanding moral impulses which they be- 
lieved to be divine in its origin and impera- 
tive in its moral authority. ^'The Lord hath 
spoken; who can but prophesy?" 

Amos saw the rapid increase of wealth in-ftiA -^ 
his day and he knew that to the souls of many /vuft^ ^ 
it was a menace. He saw luxurious buildings rh'^' 
given over to self-indulgence. He saw the ^ ^ 
gorgeous ritual employed in worship which ''^^^ 
had become more costly than holy. He saw 
the contempt of the well-to-do for the strug- '^ 

gling poor. And he felt that all this was 
wrong. He believed that it was an offense to 
Him who is no respecter of persons, but cares 
alike for us all. 

Amos believed in one God, a God of right- 
eousness, a God who was interested in the 
political and commercial affairs of men. He 
believed that the Hebrew nation had been 
chosen of God, not for favoritism but for 
service and that the bond between the Hebrew 
people and their Maker was a moral bond. 
And because he believed all this he felt that 
they were endangering their standing before 
him and their usefulness among the nations 
of the earth by their mode of life. He there- 
fore sought to recall them from their thought- 



less extravagance and showy self-indulgence 
to more worthy action. 

He represented the Deity he worshiped as 
being merciful and gracious, slow to anger 
and plenteous in mercy. God had been pa- 
tient beyond measure with those disobedient 
people, but now the time had come for judg- 
ment and correction. *'For three transgres- 
sions and for four I will not turn away the 
punishment of Judah. For three transgres- 
sions and for four I will not turn away the 
punishment of Israel. For three transgres- 
sions and for four I will not turn away the 
punishment of Damascus." Over and over 
again he repeats that phrase, "For three 
transgressions and for four." 

It was not for some single act of wrong- 
doing prompted perchance by passion or by 
sudden temper. It was for their repeated and 
cumulative acts of evil that they were be- 
ing arraigned from on high. ' ' You have done 
wrong and you have done it again and again 
and again," the prophet seemed to say. You 
have persisted in modes of life which you 
knew were out of line with the will of God — 
"For three transgressions and for four" — 
therefore the day of the Lord is come when 
you will be judged according to those deeds 
done in the body. 


He rebuked the people at these three points. 
First, he denounced them for their showy, 
useless extravagance. They had their *' win- 
ter houses ' ' and their ' ' summer houses ' ' and 
their ** palaces of ivory." They "stretched 
themselves upon couches" and **ate lambs 
from the flock and fatted calves from the 
midst of the stall." They ''drank their wine 
in huge bowls" and ** anointed themselves" 
with costly perfumes. And all this at a time 
when many of the poor were starving and 
''the righteous were being sold for silver and 
the needy for a pair of shoes." It was the 
downright heartlessness and inhumanity of it 
all which made it an offense in the sight of 

Have his words any application for us? 
We talk about ' ' the high cost of living, ' ' and 
Heaven knows that with the present scale of 
prices it is not easy for people with ordinary 
wages or fixed salaries to make both ends 
meet. But go to the places where the lux- 
uries of life are being sold, the fur coats and 
the diamonds and the silk underwear — are 
the dealers complaining because of the total 
lack of trade? They tell us, on the contrary, 
that the demand was never so keen as it has 
been in the last two or three years. Go to the 
most expensive hotels and restaurants in our 



great cities — are they all empty? They are 
filled at almost all hours of the day and night 
with people who are flinging money about as 
if it were of no more worth than autumn 
leaves. Gro to the high-priced places of 
amusement and recreation — are they for- 
saken ? They are filled to the doors with peo- 
ple who seem to have money to burn. And 
all this at a time when other people are starv- 
ing to death for lack of food, not one here and 
one there, but hundreds of thousands of them 
in Armenia, in Syria, in Serbia, in Austria, in 
Poland, in China, and in well-nigh half the 
lands of the earth. Millions for luxury and 
self-indulgence, but only the loose change to 
meet the needs of our fellows who are in 

I sat not long ago in the dining car just 
across from a young fellow who looked as if 
he might have come from some expensive pre- 
paratory school. The service was a la carte. 
He would order one dish after another, eat a 
little of it perhaps and then push it away 
to order something else. When his check was 
brought I saw the amount — it was $3.90 for 
the lunch. He flung down a five-dollar bill 
in careless fashion, told the waiter to keep 
the change, and walked out with his chin up 
and a cigarette in his mouth. 



I do not suppose that the young chap had 
ever earned a dollar in his life, or that he is 
likely to earn a dollar within the next ten 
years, perhaps never. He was eating his 
bread by the sweat of some other man's brow, 
and that was the way that he was eating it. 
And all this at a time when the stories of 
want and pain, of disease and death, which 
come to us from the four quarters of the globe 
make the heart of every decent man sick. In 
these grim times all waste is crime and all 
needless, senseless, showy luxury is a close 
second. If that young fellow as he walked 
out of the dining car could have met face to 
face one of those starving children of Eu- 
rope for whom Herbert Hoover has been 
working and pleading, the appeal of want 
might have pierced even the rhinoceros hide 
of his moral nature and have awakened some 
decent response. 

The showy, extravagant self-indulgence is 
not all being exhibited by the very rich — 
much of it comes from the ''newly rich" and 
from those who would not be termed rich at 
all, but whose heads have been turned by the 
high wages paid during the war and by a 
scale of living suddenly advanced out of all 
proportion to the taste and judgment of 
those who indulge in it. Yet in the face of 


all this extravagant expenditure how the 
churches and the charities, the homes and the 
hospitals, the small struggling colleges, and 
the various institutions of benevolence have 
to scheme and plan, scrape and save, in order 
to meet their needs! ''For three transgres- 
sions and for four," for repeated acts of 
heartlessness and cruelty, I will not turn 
away your punishment, saith the Lord of 

In the second place, the prophet denounced 
the people for their careless treatment of the 
weak. ''Ye have sold the righteous for silver 
and the needy for a song." In their eager- 
ness to monopolize the land he pictured them 
as panting for the very dust of the ground 
upon the heads of the poor. They had tam- 
pered with the weights and measures used in 
business that they might add to their profits 
— "Ye have made the ephah small and the 
shekel great." They were "profiteers" of 
the thirty-third and last degree before that 
word had been coined. They were intent on 
piling on all that the traffic would bear. They 
bought in the cheapest market and sold in the 
dearest, regardless of the effect of their 
action upon the lives of the people. They 
hired men for the least they could be induced 
by their necessities to take, with no thought 


of the social consequences of all this upon 
lives which were equally precious with their 
own in the eyes of God. All this had pro- 
duced a hard and callous contempt for hu- 
man values, a wretched scorn for the weak, 
and a flat indifference to the social implica- 
tions of their mode of life. 

This prophet of old had come from the edge 
of the desert where there was plain living 
and high thinking. He had seen the strug- 
gles of the poorer elements of society to 
maintain themselves, and he felt for them. 
He had lived in that very region where our 
Lord was tempted when he was led into the 
wilderness with the wild beasts to be tried 
out. You can hear a note of reminiscence in 
those words of Amos where he says it is as if 
a man **did flee from a lion, and a bear met 
him; or went into a house, and leaned his 
hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.'* 
The prophet had been compelled to live 
simply and dangerously, and now this flat, 
contemptuous disregard for the weak and 
struggling by the more fortunate of earth 
filled his soul with wrath. 

Here, again, shall not our own land, strong, 
brave, prosperous in so many sections of its 
life, take heed? The working i)eople of the 
world are not all in the powerful labor unions 


where labor has become class conscious and 
the workingmen are upon their feet able to 
bargain collectively with their employers on 
comparatively equal terms. The hundreds 
of thousands of plain working people who are 
not thus placed come in for our consideration. 
* ' Take heed, ' ' the Master said, ' ' lest ye cause 
one of these little ones to stumble." They 
may or may not be little in physical stature, 
but they are little in opportunity, in resource, 
in the power of initiative, in trained intelli- 
gence, and in ability to carve for themselves 
at the big, long table where so many stronger 
men with longer arms are reaching for the 
choicest bits. Take heed that ye cause not 
one of these weaker ones to stumble and fall 
— it were better for a man to have a millstone 
tied about his neck and be cast into the midst 
of the sea. The Master would have us show 
nothing less than a chivalrous concern for the 
less fortunate of the earth. 

Look upon this picture of Gary, the seat 
of a great steel industry, as drawn in lines 
that live and move and speak, by the hand of 
Eay Stannard Baker: 

"I went down to the city of Gary in a snow 
storm, with a cold, raw wind blowing off the 
Illinois prairies. The train was cold and the 
city I had left behind was cold. I was going 



from a city suffering from a coal strike to a 
city suffering from a steel strike. 

''As I saw it at dusk on that December day 
Grary seemed a kind of Titan, dwarfing all 
the life around and within it. So few men 
were seen, so dim and insignificant they were 
compared with the stupendous machinery, 
that one scarcely noticed them ! The mechan- 
ism seemed to be operating itself. There it 
was, a kind of monster squatting on the shore 
of the gray lake! A tireless monster that 
never sleeps, regardless of disputatious work- 
ers, and capitalists and economists and poli- 
ticians, toiling day and night, winter and 
summer, Sundays, Christmas, the Fourth of 
July! Thousands of men digging for their 
lives in the mines of Minnesota and in the 
coal fields and quarries of Indiana and Illi- 
nois can scarcely keep it satisfied ! I felt the 
implacable power of the mechanism and in 
comparison the insignificance of the human 
element in the process. 

**It came to me that in its essence mankind 
was there facing the problem whether ma- 
chinery should dominate men or men machin- 
ery*. Were men to be merely cogs or servants 
of insensate mechanisms or were they to 
stand out as masters using easily and freely 
the tools they had built? Was the * genius of 



mechanism,' as Carlyle expressed it, to sit 
forever 'like an incubus upon the soul of 
man,' or was the soul of man to free itself 
and command the genius of mechanism?"^ 
And this is the problem everywhere. Are 
the human values to go down in defeat before 
the mechanical process of producing material 
values or is the huge, hard process of pro- 
duction, manufacture, transportation, and ex- 
change to be made to serve the human! 

"Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, 
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay." 

A man's life or a nation's life consists not in 
the abundance of the things that can be pro- 
duced and owned. The human rather than 
the material must be the final arbiter when 
the system comes up for judgment. It was 
said in Massachusetts that William L. Doug- 
las was elected governor of the old Common- 
wealth because he had shown that he could 
make shoes and money and men all at once 
and in the same factory. The industry which 
does not make manhood as well as money 
stands condemned. Take heed then, mas- 
ters of industry, that you cause not one of the 
least of these human beings bound up in your 

• From The New Industrial Unrest, by Ray Stannard Baker, publiahed 
by Doubleday, Page & Company. 



huge enterprise to perish in the worthier and 
more enduring elements of his life ! 

The fate of any civilization is in the last 
analysis a moral question. What do the peo- 
ple care most about? What lines of interest 
and of action command the largest share of 
their time, their thought, and their enthusi- 
asm? We all know how and why Rome went 
to the wall. The Coliseum had crowded out 
the Forum. The place of games, of spec- 
tacles and of cruel, debasing forms of amuse- 
ment had crowded out the place for the 
serious, public discussion of those principles 
of social and political well-being which make 
a nation strong. 

When the Roman people had given them- 
selves over to those easy, lazy habits of 
luxury and self-indulgence for a generation 
or two, they found that the moral fiber of the 
empire had been largely eaten away. And 
when that mode of life had been followed 
for a century or two, they found themselves 
unable to stand up against the enemies who 
came down from the north. May God in his 
mercy save us here in America from becom- 
ing amusement mad and dance crazy, from 
being given over mainly to the pursuit of 
material things and to costly habits of self- 
indulgence! We would stand condemned be- 


fore the ages were we thus to defeat the high 
ends for which the Republic was founded by 
our plain-living, God-fearing forefathers. 

Why should there not be an ''Open 
Forum" in every high school building in 
every city of the land for the stated and 
repeated discussion of those industrial meth- 
ods and political principles which have to do 
with the common good? To what better use 
could those splendid structures, which now 
stand so often dark and tenantless through 
the fateful evening hours, be devoted ? There 
are many who maintain that were the oppor- 
tunity offered, there would be no adequate 
response from the people who still suffer hurt 
and loss because they have not been trained 
to think clearly and steadily upon the deeper 
issues of life. But personally I have not so 
poor an opinion of my fellow citizens as to 
believe that if the proposal had a fair trial 
for a series of years, these wretched bed- 
room farces and the superficial sort of amuse- 
ment offered in the movies could compete 
successfully every night in the week with 
those places where grown-up people would be 
asked to think upon the things which belong 
to their peace. 

You may remember that **In an Open 
Forum held on a certain Sunday many cen- 



turies ago in the village of Nazareth where 
laymen were permitted to speak, a young car- 
penter gave an address on social and eco- 
nomic justice. ' ' He took his cue from a well- 
known bit of literature current among the 
people of his race, and in substance this is 
what he said : ' ' The Spirit of the Lord is upon 
me, because he anointed me to preach good 
tidings to the poor : he hath sent me to bind up 
the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to 
the captives, to set at liberty them that are 
bruised, and to proclaim the acceptable year 
of the Lord." 

His address brought a coldness over the 
meeting, we are told, and at the close of the 
exercises the " saf e-and-sane " opponents of 
all such radical utterances were full of wrath. 
They ' ' rose up, and thrust him out of the city, 
and led him unto the brow of a hill . . . 
that they might cast him down headlong." 
But by the strange power of his own person- 
ality he passed through their midst unhurt and 
went his way. He moved on to Capernaum, a 
still larger city, where he said it all over 
again, and the people were astonished at his 
teaching, for his word was with power. He 
has come on down through the centuries with 
the same social message. He is standing to- 
day in the place of free speech *' insisting in 



the same intrepid way that his Father's 
world shall not be made a place of merchan- 
dise, but a place where plain men and women 
may live and grow into the likeness and 
image of the Most High." 

The Master had been fed upon sentiments of 
social justice and of genuine democracy along 
with his mother's milk. Luke, the physician 
and intimate friend perhaps of Mary herself, 
has preserved for us one of those ancient 
cradle songs which may well have refresihed 
the soul of the mother and filled the heart of 
the growing child with the sacred music of a 
better world. 

"My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my 
spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For 
he hath regarded the low estate of his hand- 
maiden : for, behold, from henceforth all gen- 
erations shall call me blessed. For he that 
is mighty hath done to me great things ; and 
holy is his name. And his mercy is on them 
that fear him from generation to generation. 
He hath shewed strength with his arm; he 
hath scattered the proud in the imagination 
of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty 
from their seats, and exalted them of low 
degree. He hath filled the hungry with good 
things ; and the rich he hath sent empty away. 
He hath helped his servant Israel, in remem- 



brance of his mercy; as he spake to our 
fathers, to Abraham and to his children, for- 
ever." Reared in such an atmosphere and 
with these words of social regeneration 
sounding in his ears, we cannot wonder that 
he became in due time the Friend and Cham- 
pion of the common people who heard him 

In the third place, the prophet Amos ar- 
raigned the people of his day for their infi- 
delity to the obligations created by high 
privilege, Israel was a chosen people, chosen 
not for favoritism but for an exalted and an 
exacting service. Chosen because of some 
unusual capacity for moral insight and for 
spiritual leadership to take the right of the 
line in the religious advance of the whole 
world! ''You only have I known of all the 
families of the earth, ' ' Amos here represents 
the Lord as saying to them. "You only have 
I known, therefore will I punish you for your 
iniquities." You are a privileged people, 
richly and gloriously privileged, therefore 
you are the more heavily and capably respon- 
sible for the well-being of the race. And if 
you turn aside and deny your high estate, I 
will punish you the more severely. 

"When Booker T. Washington was at 
Tuskegee he used to say to the dusky-faced 


students gathered there — and I have heard 
him say it — ''You have not been brought here 
to Tuskegee to be trained so that you might 
go back and compete more successfully with 
your untrained fellows, earning larger wages 
than they are able to earn. You have not 
been brought here to be trained so that you 
might go back and establish better homes 
and finer social standards than those to be 
found to-day among your unprivileged neigh- 
bors. You have been brought here to Tuske- 
gee to be trained so that you may in due time 
become more heavily and capably responsible 
for the welfare of your race." If that sort 
of thing can be said and done in the green 
tree of a black man's school, what have we a 
right to expect in the more seasoned timber 
of every white man's college in the land? 

The possession of privilege carries with it 
a deposit of obligation upon which the whole 
community has the right to draw. Therefore 
the first thing which Amos undertook to do 
was to dynamite the feeling of moral com- 
placency and smug contentment out of those 
Israelites. Their placid self-satisfaction was 
blocking the way of advance. ''Woe to them 
that are at ease in Zion, and to them that are 
secure in the mountains of Samaria." He 
would have them keenly and steadily con- 



scious of the responsibilities which the divine 
bounty had laid upon them in their better 
moral estate. 

You will find a host of people in this world 
who are accustomed to measure themselves 
by what is being done for them rather than 
by what they can do for others. They seem 
to think that because they live on the best 
streets and are well-dressed; because they 
fare sumptuously every day and ride to and 
fro in high-priced motor cars; because they 
have social position and opportunities in 
abundance for training and culture, they must 
of necessity be people of significance. They 
have not learned as yet that ''Happiness," 
as some one has said, ''does not consist in 
being able to sit down and order what you 
want and have somebody bring it to you — 
happiness is going after something yourself 
and feeling anxious about it and finally get- 
ting if 

But these short-sighted people measure 
themselves by what is being done for them 
rather than by their ability to make some 
proper return for all that in useful, compe- 
tent, unselfish action. "By their fruits" we 
are to judge men — ^by what all these advan- 
tages of theirs produce in meeting the needs 
of the world, by what they are able to give 



off and to give up for the service of the higher 
welfare of the various communities where 
they stand. 

In our estimate of goodness it is the posi- 
tive rather than the negative qualities which 
are to be emphasized. It is what a man does 
rather than what he refrains from doing 
which makes him good. You will sometimes 
hear it said of some elderly saint who has 
just gone to his reward : ' ' Oh, he was such a 
good man! He never drank and he never 
swore and he never smoked. He never in- 
jured anyone, and I never heard him speak 
an unkind word about anybody in his life." 
And when that list of negative virtues is com- 
plete you have in your mind the picture of 
a life as innocent and as harmless as a pan 
of skimmed milk. 

^'But what did he do?" you are moved to 
ask. How far did he make his life count for 
righteousness in politics and in industry, in 
securing better health conditions for his com- 
munity and in promoting better educational 
facilities, in making his church a power for 
good in the life of his little world? If he 
simply refrained, then his goodness was weak 
and thin. Let every life be judged by the 
positive contribution it makes to the general 
good in terms of useful service. 


This prophet saw the Lord standing upon 
the wall of the city with a plumbline in his 
hand. * ' Amos, ' ' he cried, ' ' what seest thou ? ' ' 
**A plumbline," the prophet replied. ''Be- 
hold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of 
my people Israel, ' ' saith the Lord ; * ' I will not 
again pass by them any more. ' ' 

God was calling upon them for lives of in- 
tegrity, straight up and down, and not vari- 
able nor crooked. He was calling upon them 
for a social order built by the square and by 
the plumb, so that the power of gravitation 
and the other elemental forces would not pull 
it down. ''Seek good and not evil," he cried, 
"that ye may live: Let justice run down as 
waters, and righteousness as a mighty 
stream. Then the Lord of hosts will be gra- 
cious unto you." 

The stern old prophet's morality was not 
based on shrewd guesses as to what might 
turn out for one's immediate advantage. It 
did not rest upon expediency. He did not go 
about saying, "Honesty is the best policy," 
"Integrity is a good investment," "Truth- 
telling and fair dealing are more likely to pay 
eight per cent profit than the opposite quali- 
ties." His morality was grounded upon the 
sense of agreement between the principles he 
taught and the will of the Almighty. It was 


grounded in the great moral order which en- 
folds us all, whether we will or not. He there- 
fore called upon men ''to meet upon the 
level and to act by the plumb and to part 
upon the square. So may men ever meet, act, 
and part." 

Here, again, we may well apply his message 
to modem society in the United States of 
America. You only have I known among the 
nations of the earth in the bestowal of such 
abundant resource and such unique oppor- 
tunities. Therefore if you fail in your duty, 
I will punish you. Why may we not in all 
reverence and humility apply to our own land 
those very words which Israel applied to her- 
self when she was chosen of God for a high 
and exacting service? 

What nation hath God so nigh unto them as 
the Lord our God is unto us in all things that 
we call upon him for? Has God ever essayed 
to take him a nation from the midst of 
another nation by signs, by wonders, and 
by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched 
arm, as the Lord our God has done for us? 
Did ever people hear the voice of God speak- 
ing out of the midst of the fire as we have 
heard? What nation hath statutes and judg- 
ments so righteous as this law which I set be- 
fore you this day? Keep, therefore, and do 


them, for this shall be your wisdom and your 
understanding among the nations. *'I will 
bless thee and thou shalt be a blessing. I will 
make thee a great nation, and in thee shall 
all the nations of the world be blessed." 

''In a sense that never has been true before 
what happens in America happens to all the 
world. This fact brings no special credit to 
us. It is the result of our situation, our herit- 
age, our unexhausted resources, and our re- 
cent emergence from our traditional isola- 
tion. This new importance of America should 
issue not in pride but in humility. But 
whether it be faced with modest serviceable- 
ness or with boasting, the fact remains, as an 
Englishman has recently said, 'The United 
States of America is the greatest potential 
force, material, moral, and spiritual, in the 
world.' " 

It is for us, then, to see to it that this high 
privilege is matched by the frank acceptance 
of the grave responsibility which inevitably 
goes with it. To whom much is given of them 
will much be required. We are to develop 
and maintain that high quality of national 
soul which will make us competent to meet 
the demands of our high estate. 

It is not important nor desirable that the 
Constitution of the United States and the Ten 



Commandments and the Sermon on thie 
Mount should be made satisfactory to the red- 
mouthed agitators and red-handed anarchists 
who have reacted from the wicked regimes 
in Southeastern Europe into treason and 
violence. It is not desirable that the great 
standards of political and moral well-being 
which have been current among us should be 
toned down to suit the whims of any of the 
enemies of social order. But it is important 
that all these leaders of unrest should be 
toned up and called upon to sing their songs 
of aspiration in harmony with the standards 
just named. The ''Great Melting Pot" must 
melt and fuse, it must refine and mold all 
these varied elements in our composite life 
until we have in abundance that sort of metal 
in our political and industrial activities which 
will bear the strain now being put upon it. 

There are good and sufficient reasons for 
believing that the undaunted vigor of our 
American idealism may show itself equal to 
that hard task. How splendid has been the 
quality of our national life on certain august 
occasions when it was put to the test! "Here 
is the paradox of American politics," a wise 
Harvard professor once said. ''The same 
people who have impressed observers as 
sharp traders and keen politicians have sur- 



prised the world by acts of unprecedented 
magnanimity and self-denial. What other 
nation, while rejecting the principle of a 
state church, maintains through the volun- 
tary gifts of its population such vast organi- 
zations for worship, as if to testify that it has 
not only territory to develop and products to 
sell, but a soul to save? What other coun- 
try ever received an indemnity from a for- 
eign government" (he was referring to 
China) "and returned it, only to receive it 
once more in the form of stipends for the edu- 
cation of youths sent to the United States by 
the grateful land ? When did another nation 
win territory and return it to its occupants, 
as in Cuba, or hold it in trust, as in the 
Philippines ? When did ever another nation 
at the end of a war like that with Spain 
transport the defeated army to their homes 
across the sea 1 When did ever a great Power 
pause with such scrupulousness before pun- 
ishing a weaker neighbor, like Mexico, and 
meantime provide for her refugees friendly 
shelter and support? Or when did any other 
nation, having taken possession of a strip of 
land and at enormous cost built a canal, ever 
propose to satisfy its conscience by a volun- 
tary payment to the former owners, or to 
open the canal on equal terms to the fleets 



of the world? Works of supererogation like 
these indicate a more complex type of char- 
acter than a nation of shopkeepers could pro- 
duce. Under the hardness of American com- 
mercialism there lies a richer soil."^ 

In those days and weeks which followed 
upon the signing of the armistice in the fall 
of 1918 how full and strong was the tide of 
moral idealism running at Washington, at 
London and at Paris. Men felt that it was 
morning everywhere. We had entered upon 
the dawn of a new day. It was believed that 
this nation, which had cast in its strength at 
the eleventh hour in such measure as to tip 
the scales toward victory for those principles 
which we esteemed to be right, would now aid 
in securing such a peace settlement as the 
world had never seen at the close of any great 

Then, alas! there came a falling away 
which we all deplore, a moral relaxation, a 
lowering of tone, a return to the old material- 
istic ways of thinking and of acting, a slack- 
ening of purpose and a cheapening of our 
ideals. We were not good enough to live up 
to the high mood which possessed the soul of 

> Reprinted from The Christian Life in the Modern World (p. 183), by 
Francis G. Peabody, by permission of the publishers, The Macmillan 



the nation when we entered the war, the mood 
which was also ours when the victory was 

The government at Washington saw to it 
that we were ''last in the war." When the 
armistice had been signed and when the treaty- 
had been framed at Paris, the United States 
Senate seemed determined to see to it that 
we should be ' ' last in peace. ' * We ought long 
ere this (I am writing these words in Febru- 
ary, 1921) to have made our peace with Ger- 
many and have entered with the other nations 
into some reasonable and promising agree- 
ment — I put it simply and broadly that it may 
include all forward looking minds — for a bet- 
ter method of settling international differ- 
ences as they may arise. Had there been more 
statesmanship and less partisan politics at 
both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue in Wash- 
ington, this result would have been achieved. 
We ought to have made more progress to- 
ward industrial peace and prosperity, toward 
a more even spread of that well-being in 
which all are meant to share. Had there been 
a larger measure of social justice, a more 
complete respect for the rights of the other 
man and the other class, and a more insistent 
spirit of good will, we would also have 
achieved that. We ought to have relieved 



more of the distress of the world and to have 
aided further in rebuilding the devastated 
areas of human life. Had there been less of -^ 
the spirit of thoughtless extravagance and 
self-indulgence, with more of the sense of 
social obligation, we could also have achieved 
that. The plain fact stands that we were not 
good enough to do the things which we ought 
to have done. - 

When the fate of the Armenian people, for 
example, and when so many other interests 
vast and vital are trembling in the balance, 
why should this nation, strong, rich, wise, 
hopeful, stand aloof and refuse to assume its 
just and equal portion of the common respon- 
sibility for the peace and good order of the 
world? In our case, as in every case, posses- 
sion means obligation. To whom much is 
given of him will much be required. We shall 
never stand right before the God of the na- 
tions or in the eyes of the world unless we 
are willing to accept all the duties which go 
with high privilege. 

Hear these wise words from the gifted 
pastor of one of the most active and eflBcient 
Protestant churches in the city of New York : 
*' Never before have greater things been 
offered to safeguard liberty and democracy 
— human lives in millions and wealth in bil- 



lions have been poured out. Never before 
was it so evident that the arm of flesh is no 
defense and that safety lies in the unity of 
the Spirit among the nations to maintain the 
bond of peace. Never before have inter- 
national relations been so searchingly scruti- 
nized and the disease spots in imperialistic 
commerce, tariff discriminations, and threat- 
ening armaments exposed. Never before has 
it been so generally recognized that a new 
heart and right spirit must govern nations, 
or all devices to preserve international order 
are futile. And the probe has been put into 
other relations, notably those of industry, 
with far-reaching disclosures. Undoubtedly 
the social control which the war has forced 
upon us in manufactures, in commerce, in 
transport, in the distribution of food and 
fuel will not cease with the coming of peace. 
This marks a distinct advance which the war 
has hastened." * 

"But," he adds in prophetic mood, ''men 
of social insight are aware that public con- 
trol, however valuable, will not better mat- 
ters unless new motives come into play and 
men become socially minded. Never was the 
supreme need of the social spirit so patent. 
It is the day of the Church of Christ as the 
Fellowship of his spirit with the task of 



spiritualizing every sphere of humaii so- 
ciety. ' '^ 

Here, then, is our work cut out for us and 
laid ready to our hand. The splendid words 
of religion are to be made flesh that they may 
dwell in the eyes of men full of grace and 
truth. The language of religion is to be 
translated into terms of life. Goodness is to 
be made interesting, winsome, appealing by 
the effectiveness with which it sets about the 
building of a new heaven and a new earth 
wherein shall dwell righteousness, peace, and 
the joy of the Divine Spirit. It was your 
own Frank Mason North who bade you and 
the worshiping portion of the whole English- 
speaking world sing a new song of social 
aspiration in these high terms : 

"Where cross the crowded ways of life, 

Where sound the cries of race and clan. 
Above the noise of selfish strife 
We hear thy voice, O Son of Man. 

"O Master, from the mountain side 

Make haste to heal these hearts of pain. 
Among these restless throngs abide, 
O tread the city's streets again, 

"Till sons of men shall learn thy love 
And follow where thy feet have trod: 
Till, glorious from thy heaven above, 
Shall come the city of our God." 

> In a Day of Social Rebuilding. H. S. Coffin, p. 189. Yale University 


Yonder, at the entrance of the harbor of 
the city of New York there stands a huge 
statue. It towers up for three hundred 
feet from Bedloe's Island. Significantly 
it is the figure of a woman, and in her right 
hand she holds aloft a lighted torch. It is 
Bartholdi's ''Statue of Liberty Enlighten- 
ing the World." 

Some years ago a certain set of Harbor 
Commissioners felt that the expense of keep- 
ing that torch lighted night after night was 
not warranted. It served no practical pur- 
pose, for the lighthouses along either shore 
were adequate to guide the ships which en- 
tered the harbor after nightfall. So for a 
period the torch was dark. 

But before the Great War came, another set 
of Harbor Commissioners decided that this 
was not the proper treatment for this gift 
of fair France to our Republic. They had the 
statue rewired and a great arc light placed 
at the tip end of the torch — and again its rays 
began to shine out across the dark waters of 
the Atlantic. 

While the war was on the light of that 
torch was seen in France, and the people of 
France rejoiced because the two great Repub- 
lics, one on that side of the water and one on 
this, were now standing together in a common 



struggle for freedom and justice. The light 
of that torch was seen in Britain, and the peo- 
ple of Britain rejoiced because the two great 
English-speaking nations, one on that side of 
the water and one on this, were now knit to- 
gether in an invincible alliance for righteous- 
ness. The light of that torch was seen in Bel- 
gium, and the people of that stricken country- 
rejoiced because it shone out from the shores 
of a great, kind friend, whose generous in- 
terest was being nobly directed by Herbert 
C. Hoover. 

The light of that torch was seen in Ger- 
many, and to the Kaiser and his mad asso- 
ciates it revealed the handwriting on the wall. 
Like Belshazzar of old, they saw written over 
against their own names the same four fateful 
words, ''Weighed, Wanting, Numbered, Fin- 
ished. ' ' They knew full well that the entrance 
into the struggle of that country where the 
torch was lighted meant the downfall of Prus- 
sian militarism. 

Now, let that torch and all the great prin- 
ciples for which we believe it stands — the 
principle of equality before the law, the feel- 
ing of respect for the poor man's rights, the 
sense of obligation which must accompany 
privilege of every sort, and the idea that the 
human must forever be exalted above the 



purely material values in this great economic 
and political process — let that torch and all 
the high principles there symbolized shine on. 
And may its gleam never again be dimmed 
until all the free peoples of earth shall walk 
in the light of it. 




We cannot make too plain the fact that re- 
ligion is not primarily a system of beliefs to 
be cherished. It utilizes beliefs, but they are 
altogether secondary. Religion is not pri- 
marily a set of forms to be observed; it 
utilizes forms, but they too are secondary. 
Religion is not primarily some tremendous 
emotional upheaval through which a man may 
pass on his way to glory; it may utilize this 
either as a point of departure or as a line of 
approach, but that also is secondary. Religion 
is a life to be lived seven days in the week 
in all those relationships which make up hu- 
man existence. The man who is striving with 
all his might and with all the grace Grod gives 
him to live a life of reverent, obedient trust 
and of unselfish action is religious, and no 
other sort of man can be. 

We are to study in this lecture the work 
and the words of a man who made that big 
truth stand out like a barn door. He kept 
his eye upon that which was vital. He was 



no rough man of the hills like Elijah the 
Tishbite. He was no rude herdsman with 
the smell of the fields in his garments like 
Amos of Tekoa. Isaiah belonged to the for- 
tunate class — 'he lived on Fifth Avenue. He 
had an assured social position which gave 
him ready access to the court and to the king. 
He was entirely familiar with the customs 
and the costumes of fashionable society, as we 
find in that chapter where he rebukes the 
showy extravagance of the idle rich. 

He was also well educated: he shows that 
literary skill which comes only to those who 
have been trained. In all the Old Testament 
there is nothing finer in their sweep and finish 
than some of the utterances of this young 
prophet. He had five talents of mental ability 
and of personal charm where most of his 
contemporaries were rubbing along as best 
they might with only one or two apiece. 

He had with all this an intense passion for 
reality. He showed scant regard for the 
trance and the ecstasy, the rhapsody and the 
rhetoric upon which some of the would-be 
prophets of his day set so mueh store. He 
was strong in saving common sense and in 
stout regard for the moral values. He was 
sturdy in his insistence that men should 
stand right in the sight of God. He stood 



four square himself, for he was at once a re- 
former and a statesman, a theologian and a 
poet. By his words, by his work, and by his 
worth he became the first citizen of his coun- 
try, exercising a dominant influence upon the 
history of the nation. He entered into no 
political combinations, but by the sheer 
strength of his own personality and by the 
wisdom of his prophetic utterance he caused 
the policies of his country to incline aright. 

His call to be a prophet came at a great 
national crisis. He lived under the reign of 
the good King Uzziah. This ruler had been 
sitting upon the throne for fifty-two years 
and he had served his country well. He had 
increased the material prosperity of his peo- 
ple ; he had strengthened the fortifications of 
his capital city, Jerusalem; he had brought 
wisdom and conscience to bear upon the na- 
tional policies. Now he was dead and the 
nation must go on without him. 

This young man whom I have described 
saw the earthly majesty of the wise and good 
king go down in defeat before the terrible 
disease of leprosy. But in that same hour he 
saw the heavenly majesty of the King of 
kings, resplendent and enduring. His hero 
worship passed over into religious faith. ' ' In 
the year that King Uzziah died I saw the 



Lord, sitting upon a throne, high and lifted 
up, and his train filled the temple. ' ' 

It is an experience which has been oft re- 
peated. Night brings out the stars. Men 
see the earth by day, but they see the heavens 
best at night. In the year that King Uzziah 
died Isaiah saw the Lord. In the year that 
paganism sat upon the throne of the Boman 
empire, Saul of Tarsus saw the Lord and he 
became Paul the apostle, put in trust with 
the gospel of moral recovery for a world that 
was spiritually bankrupt. In the year when 
Tetzel sold indulgences broadcast in Ger- 
many, Martin Luther saw the Lord and 
ushered in a mighty Reformation. In the 
year when slavery lifted up its head in impu- 
dent fashion and undertook to dominate the 
councils of this nation, Abraham Lincoln saw 
the Lord. In the year when Germany perpe- 
trated her unspeakable outrage on Belgium, 
Herbert H. Asquith and Sir Edward Grey 
saw the Lord. In some hard hour of stress 
and need every man of them gained a direct 
and immediate sense of the divine concern 
for human affairs and that vision of things 
eternal gave him strength to act. In the year 
that a greedy and godless form of human con- 
trol all but wrecked the civilization of Eu- 
rope men of vision in all the lands of earth 



saw the Lord, and they became highly resolved 
that government of the people, by the people, 
and for the people should not go down in de- 
feat. In that same high mood this young 
prophet of old, who was born to the purple, 
came upon the scene with a vision of God as 
a God of righteousness before his eyes. 

He would have all men see those eyes of 
glory looking into every gathering of diplo- 
mats and every senate chamber, scanning the 
state papers to which men were about to set 
their hands. He would have us see those eyes 
of glory looking into every counting room 
and every manager's office, scanning the wage 
scales and the price lists whereby men serve 
or wrong, as the case may be, the interests 
of other men and women whose lives are 
bound up with their own in that common bun- 
dle of economic organization. He would have 
us see those eyes of glory looking into every 
human soul, making plain the fact that only 
those who have clean hands and pure hearts 
can ascend into the hill of the Lord or stand 
in his holy place, or engage with him effec- 
tively in the rebuilding of a ruined world. 
Isaiah was a poet and this was the refrain of 
every song he sang : ' ' Holy, Holy, Holy is the 
Lord of Hosts! The whole earth is full of 
his glory." 



He was no moral prig, no spiritual snob, 
pluming himself upon his superiority to all 
his fellows. There in that same dread hour 
when he saw the Lord he fell upon his face 
in the dust and beat upon his breast and told 
all the sins of his life. ' ' Woe is me ! for I am 
undone. I am a man of unclean lips, and I 
dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips ; 
and mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord 
of Hosts." Deep in his own soul he had an 
active, poignant sense of sin. 

The man who has no sense of sin usually 
has very little sense of any kind. ''Blessed 
are they that hunger and thirst after 
righteousness, for they" — and they only — 
''shall be filled." But in that same hour 
when this frank confession came from the 
young man's lips he felt his inner life cleansed 
by the direct action of the Divine Spirit. He 
saw the winged seraph flying toward him 
through the open spaces of heaven and taking 
a live coal from the altar and placing it upon 
his unclean lips. He heard a voice say, ' ' Thy 
sin is purged, thine iniquity is taken away." 
And in the joy of moral renewal he gave him- 
self at once in eager consecration to the high- 
est he saw. When the divine voice said, 
"Who will go for us I Whom shall I send?" 
the young man answered back, "Here 



am I; send me." Thus he became a prophet 
of the living God. 

He made plain the fact that religion is not 
high-sounding talk, nor tears of remorse, nor 
graceful sentiment. Religion is the frank ac- 
ceptance of the actual, everyday, backbreak- 
ing task of making good in the presence of 
temptation, of diflSculty, of moral obligation. 

It involves a sturdy and heroic effort to 
have the will of the Most High stand fast and 
bear rule in all the affairs of ordinary life. 
The man who bravely undertakes to do this 
by the grace of God is truly religious. **If ye 
be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good 
of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye 
shall be devoured with the sword, for the 
mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. ' ' 

Isaiah set himself to the accomplishment of 
these three high ends : First, he undertook to 
lift the mind and practice of his nation from 
a religion of ceremony up to a religion of 
character. How his words on that point go 
straight to the mark! — ''Hear, heavens, 
and give ear, earth: for the Lord hath 
spoken. I have nourished and brought up 
children, and they have i:ebelled against me. 
The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his 
master's crib: but Israel does not know, my 
people do not think." The Israelites were 


showing less insight as to the source of 
their own well-being than were the other ani- 

**To what purpose is the multitude of your 
sacrifices unto me ? saith the Lord : I am full 
of burnt offerings, . . . and I delight 
not in the blood of bulls. . . . When ye 
come to appear before me, who hath re- 
quired this at your hands? . . . Your 
new moons and your sabbaths, the calling 
of assemblies I cannot away with. . . . 
When you spread forth your hands, I 
will hide mine eyes: yea, when ye make 
many prayers, I will not hear: Your hands 
are full of blood. Wash you, make you 
clean; put away the evil of your doings. 
. . . Cease to do evil; learn to do well; 
Then come, let us reason together" touching 
our further cooperation in this great matter 
of human well-being. 

There were men in his day, as there have 
been men in every day of human history, who 
thought that they could couple together wor- 
ship and wickedness and get away with it. 
They thought that if their left hands were 
full of worshipful observances, their right 
hands might be full of robbery and oppres- 
sion, yet in some way one would balance the 
other; the worship would atone for the 


wickedness and they could keep along with 

How long will it take men to learn that only 
as we strive to have the horizontal relations 
of our lives between man and man just and 
true will the perpendicular relations of our 
lives with our Maker through worship become 
acceptable and fruitful! '*If thou bringest 
thy gift to the altar," Jesus said, ''and there 
rememberest that thy brother" — some one in 
your employ, or some one who employs you, 
some one with whom you have been engaged 
in a political deal, or some one against whom 
you have been cherishing a bitter and nasty 
grudge — ^^"hath aught against thee; leave 
there thy gift before the altar ; . . . first 
be reconciled to thy brother" — by honest 
dealing — "then come and offer thy gift." 

"What does God want men to do?" Isaiah 
would ask to-day in his blunt way. Many 
would reply: "He wants men to go to church 
and to be baptized. He wants them to take 
the sacrament regularly and to say their 
prayers and to read their Bibles." 

Well and good — thou hast answered right. 
The Lord does want men to do all of those 
things, provided always that it be kept clearly 
in mind that those things are means to an end 
and not ends in themselves. If all those wor- 


shipful activities aid men in doing justly, in 
loving kindness, and in walking humbly be- 
fore God, they are beautiful. If, however, 
they are put forward as substitutes for up- 
right, useful, and unselfish action in the ordi- 
nary round and round, then they are worse 
than useless — they become hateful in the sight 
of Him with whom we have to do. 

How far have we need of Isaiah's plain, 
straight word to-day? Does the habit of 
worship mean always fair dealing on the 
part of those who offer it? Do the working 
people in all our cities feel that it is always 
better to work for a church member than for 
one who is not? Does church worship on the 
part of a landlord insure the just and con- 
siderate treatment of his tenants ? Do people 
generally flock to the merchant who is a pro- 
fessed Christian, feeling sure that they will 
on that account receive good goods at honest 
prices? Do men rejoice when they hear that 
the president of a railroad or of a steel cor- 
poration or a woolen mill in whose employ 
thousands of them stand is regularly attending 
some orthodox church? Has none of the so- 
cial injustice and industrial oppression prac- 
ticed in the last generation emanated from 
men who regularly take the sacrament at the 
altar of Christ? 



These questions sound strange wiien I ask 
them in this bald way. They ought not to 
sound strange. It ought to go without saying 
that worship and fair dealing always go to- 
gether. But as we all know full well, some- 
times they do and sometimes they do not. 

Has the Christian Church, taking it by and 
large, in these recent decades borne its testi- 
mony by open utterance and by the consistent 
lives of its members against the sin of greed, 
for example, as it ought to have done? I do 
not believe that it has. The ordinary preach- 
ing of the gospel in any Christian church 
would be calculated to make a man who was 
drunken or licentious, who was a Sabbath- 
breaker, or a profane swearer, feel decidedly 
uncomfortable. All this is well, for these 
forms of wrongdoing stand in need of rebuke. 
But are there not men sitting in the pews of 
the various churches playing the commercial 
game as others play it, all unembarrassed by 
any Christian scruples? Are there not to be 
found at the communion table men who buy 
labor and material alike in the cheapest mar- 
ket and sell their products in the dearest 
without ever thinking of the effect of their 
action upon the human lives involved in that 
process ? Are there not men along the broad 
aisles of the various sanctuaries who seem to 



be dominated in tlie main purposes of their 
lives by the spirit of greed, but because 
they are clean and kind in their private 
relations, they are not made to feel uncom- 
fortable by the preaching of the average 

Hear these plain, straight words as to the 
need of more religion in business ! They were 
not uttered by some clergyman whose main 
office it is to preach the gospel. They were not 
uttered by some theological professor sitting 
comfortably in his seminary chair discussing 
in more or less detached fashion the elements 
of our Christian faith. They were spoken by 
Mr. Oliver M. Fisher, one of the leading shoe 
manufacturers of New England, upon his elec- 
tion as president of the Boston Boot and Shoe 
Club, and were addressed to his fellow-manu- 
facturers : 

' * This country has been a phenomenal suc- 
cess in everything material. We have been 
the wonder of the world, but we have lost, to 
my mind, our balance, and have given far 
more attention to the material side of life 
than its importance warrants. The same at- 
tention given to the development of the moral 
and spiritual forces within us could bring 
about in every community a vitalizing force 
which would make better communities, and 


thus make better the very business in which 
we are engaged. 

"From my own business experience there 
is nothing on earth that business needs so 
much to-day as religion. By that I mean the 
sense of responsibility to God, to man, and 
to the obligations that go with it, in order that 
our relations with each other shall be the re- 
lations of one brother to another. Obliga- 
tions must be kept and the covenants we make 
must be considered sacred and binding; there- 
fore, I have come to feel after a long busi- 
ness life that some form of Christianity is the 
heart of the covenant of all business life. ' * 

The minds of men ought never to have be- 
come dull as to the vital elements in religion. 
Hear what the great master spirits of the 
Bible have said! They ought to know what 
is essential and what is merely incidental. 
Hear the words of Micah, who lived in the 
same century with Isaiah! **He hath shewed 
thee, man, what is good; and what doth 
the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and 
to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy 
God?" Hear the words of James, who 
preached habitually what has been called 
**the gospel of common-sense" — ''Pure re- 
ligion and undefiled before God the Father is 
this, To visit the fatherless and widows in 


their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted 
from the world. ' ' 

Hear the words of Paul, the greatest of all 
the apostles — ' ' The fruit of the Spirit is love, 
joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, 
faithfulness, mildness and self-control." 
Hear also what our Lord Jesus Christ said 
— * ' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all 
thy heart. This is the first and great com- 
mandment. And the second is like unto it, 
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." 

In the same high vein our greatest Ameri- 
can said upon one occasion : * ' Though I am a 
man of faith and a man of prayer I am not a 
member of any church. But if any church 
will inscribe those two great words of the 
Saviour, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God 
with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thy- 
self,' over its doors as the sole requirement 
for membership, that church I will join with 
all my heart." Isaiah had a passion for 
reality, and he was intent upon lifting the 
minds of his people from a religion of cere- 
mony to a religion of character. 

In the second place, this prophet rebuked 
the selfish greed and the moral callousness of 
many of the well-to-do people of his day. 
*' Woe unto them that join house to house and 
field to field" in their monopoly of the good 



things of life ** until there is no room" for the 
poorer people to live. Woe unto them who 
trifle with moral distinctions, who seek to per- 
suade themselves that it is possible to mix 
their colors, *'who call evil good, and good 
evil ; who put darkness for light, and light for 
darkness ; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet 
for bitter." **Woe unto them that are mighty 
to drink wine, . . . and to justify the 
wicked for a reward." He felt that the cruel, 
grasping spirit of those who were bent upon 
making light of moral standards and of mak- 
ing gain at any cost was eating the moral 
fiber out of Israel and making her unfit for 
her work of spiritual leadership. 

He believed that the well-to-do women of 
that time were largely responsible. By their 
mode of life they were setting the pace in an 
unseemly expenditure. Then, as now, the men 
went into the city early in the morning to 
make the money and the women went in later 
to spend it. The habits of the well-to-do were 
being copied and followed away beyond the 
measure of their financial ability by those 
who were less fortunate. And the whole mad 
race in showy self-indulgence had been to the 
detriment of the entire social body. 

''The daughters of Zion are haughty," he 
said. "They walk with outstretched necks 



and wanton eyes." "The spoil of the poor 
is in their houses. They have eaten up the 
needy." The money which made possible 
all that showy luxury had been gained by 
methods which the Lord would not ap- 
prove. Therefore the prophet said, '^'The 
Lord will take away their ornaments and 
their bracelets, their fine linen and their 
costly apparel. ' ' When certain people under- 
take to live in showy fashion without work- 
ing it means always that certain other peo- 
ple will have to work in humble fashion with- 
out living. 

**The point is not that Isaiah condemned 
refinement or personal adornment, but that 
these women were thinking of nothing else. 
They lived in an artificial atmosphere of 
vanity and futility. They were parasites fat- 
tening upon the over-stimulated sensuality of 
a corrupt society. And if the mothers of 
Israel were to be like this, what was to become 
of the children r'l 

The Master of men brought out in telling 
phrase the moral antagonism between the 
spirit of religion and the spirit of greed or 
self-indulgence. *'Ye cannot serve God and 
mammon." If the love of money is the 

'Reprinted from The Consuming Fire (p. 55), by Harria E. Kirk, by 
permimioD of the publisher, The Macmillan Company. , 



wannest, the strongest, and the steadiest 
love in a man's heart, then the love of Grod 
has already gone down in defeat. It is highly 
significant that the most searching words 
Jesus Christ ever uttered were not directed 
against the coarse sins of the flesh, hateful 
as these offenses were in his pure eyes — his 
most searching words were directed against 
that love of gain which becomes the root of 
all manner of evil. 

Have we not need of the same pungent 
message in our own day? When we enter the 
places of worship frequented by the well-to- 
do, we are led to wonder oftentimes if their 
industrial and political methods during the 
week have been such as to make them indeed 
the favorites of heaven. How have they 
borne themselves toward the weak for whom 
also Christ died? People are more sacred and 
precious than holy places. The poor and the 
needy are more precious in his sight than all 
Te Deums and stained-glass windows and 
lovely altar cloths. Inasmuch as we have 
done equity and kindness or have failed to do 
it to one of the least of these, we have done 
it or have not done it unto him. 

Let people give as they live ! My own con- 
viction and practice for the last thirty-odd 
years favor the habit of giving steadily as a 



mmimum the tenth of one's income to the 
work of charity and religion. This old scrip- 
tural rule has stood the test of experience. 
The Jews were blessed in basket and in store, 
in heart and in soul, by their practice of tith- 
ing. The Mormon Church, whatever limita- 
tions theological and moral may attach to 
some of its positions, has been able by its sys- 
tem of tithes to send forth an army of mis- 
sionaries and to care for the needy of its own 
communion with an admirable thoroughness. 

This giving of the tenth need not be made 
a hard-and-fast rule to be enforced univer- 
sally with no regard for modifying circum- 
stances. This might mean a lack of equity. 
The man with an income of two thousand a 
year and the man with twenty thousand are 
not equally generous when they both prac- 
tice tithing. The rule of the tenth would not 
call forth an adequate measure of generosity 
from Mr. Eockefeller, while it might take too 
much from some humble toiler whose meager 
wages barely suffice for the needs of his 
family. But there may well be some definite 
percentage of giving which mind and con- 
science can approve. 

The reckless extravagance of many of 
those who have reaped a rich harvest during 
the Great War, either from large profits or 


from high wages, seems to indicate that they 
have thrown overboard any serious thought 
of personal responsibility for the Christian 
work of the world. There are Christian fam- 
ilies which actually spend more on the theater 
and the movies than they give to evangelize 
the world. There are women who come to 
church wearing hats which cost forty dollars 
apiece and then give fifty cents or a dollar 
to Christianize their own country. When we 
look at the present disproportion in many 
a professedly Christian home between the 
amounts spent for luxury, pleasure, self- 
indulgence, and the amount contributed to 
make strong the work of Christ in the world 
we wonder sometimes if we are worthy to be 
called Christian. Let the scale of giving be 
adjusted in consistent fashion to the scale of 

In the adjustment between attention to re- 
ligious forms and attention to unselfish action 
there are people who seem to feel that the 
Lord above is not altogether bright. They 
seem to think that he is so constituted that he 
cares a great deal more about ritual than he 
does about righteousness. What a curious 
idea when we hold it up to the light! How 
little it matters whether we have been bap- 
tized with a great deal of water, as some 



Christians are, or with very little, as other 
Christians are, or with none at all, after the 
manner of the Quakers and members of the 
Salvation Army, who rely solely upon the 
baptism of the Spirit ! How little it matters 
whether we take the bread and the wine in the 
sacrament from the hand of a man who was 
ordained by a bishop or from one who was 
ordained by a company of elders or from one 
who was ordained by a group of his brother 
pastors ! How much do you suppose the Lord 
in heaven cares about all that if only people 
in reverent fashion take the bread and the 
wine in grateful remembrance of Him who 
died for us all? But how tremendously it 
matters whether or not those people, how- 
ever they may have been baptized and how- 
ever they may celebrate the sacrament, in 
their dealings with their weaker fellows do 
justly, love kindness, and walk humbly before 
him! Righteousness rather than ritual has 
been the major study and the main concern 
of the great prophets and apostles of all time. 
In these days of unrest upon which we have 
fallen, the need of an intelligent and thorough 
application of moral principle to all the con- 
crete interests and relationships of everyday 
life is imperative if the very fiber of our 
hardly won civilization is not to be destroyed. 


This clear-cut statement appeared recently 
in The New Republic: "These are trou- 
bled times. As the echoes of the War die 
away the sound of a new conflict rises on 
our ears. All the world is filled with indus- 
trial unrest. Strike follows upon strike. A 
world that has known five years of fighting 
has lost its taste for the honest drudgery of 
work. Cincinnatus will not go back to his 
plow, or, at the best, stands sullenly be- 
tween his plow handles arguing for a higher 
wage. The wheels of industry threaten to 
stop. The laborer will not work because the 
pay is too low and the hours are too long. 
The producer cannot employ him because the 
wage is too high and the hours are too short. 
If the high wage is paid and the short hours 
granted, then the price of the thing made 
rises higher still, until even the high wages 
will not buy it. The process apparently moves 
in a circle with no cessation to it. ' ' 

We shall never gain our deliveranc? from 
the distress which lies heavy upon the whole 
world by any form of ritual or by any clever 
economic or political device. We shall only 
advance toward the restoration of well-being 
by a more inclusive and persistent form of 
social righteousness. From sheer necessity 
we shall have to fall back upon that rule of 



life which bids men look not solely upon their 
own immediate interest but also upon the in- 
terests of their fellows. ''Among the Gen- 
tiles the great ones exercise lordship and 
dominion" over their weaker fellows. "It 
shall not be so among you. If any man would 
be great among you, let him serve. The 
greatest of all is the servant of all. The Son 
of man came not to be ministered unto but to 
minister and to give his life a ransom for 
many. ' ' 

Here in the Old Testament was a man pass- 
ing in review those points of conduct where 
strong men are most liable to fall. He was 
uttering what has been called his "oath of 
clearing." He is careful to scrutinize 
closely and rigidly his treatment of his less 
fortunate fellows. "If I despised the cause 
of my man-servant or my maid-servant when 
they contended with me; what, then, shall I 
do when God riseth up ? . . . Did not he 
that made me . . . make him . . . 
If I have withheld the poor from their desire, 
or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail ; 
or have eaten my morsel alone, and the 
fatherless hath not eaten thereof; ... let 
mine arm fall from my shoulder blade." 

This man of old saw that we are all objects 
of the same divine interest and divine affec- 


tion, and any measure of careless indifference 
to the needs of one's fellows, any contemp- 
tuous disregard for the rights of those who 
stand within our employ or any useless showy 
extravagance which would make against the 
peace and welfare of the social body, where 
we have become responsible and influential 
members, would be a thing displeasing in 
God's sight. It was One whom we all know 
and honor who reached out with his all-em- 
bracing sympathy and said, "I was hungry 
and sick; I was naked and a stranger and ye 
ministered unto me. Inasmuch as ye did it 
to the least of these ye did it unto me. ' ' 

"When wilt Thou save the people, 

O God of mercy, when? 
Not kings and lords but nations, 
Not thrones and crowns but men! 
Flowers of thy heart, O God, are they; 
Let them not pass like weeds away, 
Their heritage a sunless day, 
God save the people!" 

In the third place, the prophet Isaiah 
pointed to the One who could bring salvation. 
He saw the life of his country imperiled for 
lack of righteousness. He saw that the 
wrongdoing of the people had made the whole 
head sick and the whole heart faint. He saw 
that the sorest need of Israel was not that of 
fuel, nor of clothing, nor of education, neces- 



sary as all these things are. Their sorest 
need was to be found in their lack of char- 
acter. They were not good enough to last. 
They were not good enough to do their work 
and to enjoy the favor of the Most High. 

But the prophet saw also that all this could 
be changed. He was not the prophet of de- 
spair but the prophet of hope. ''Cease to do 
evil; learn to do well. Seek justice, re- 
lieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, 
plead for the widow. Come now, let us reason 
together, saith the Lord : Though your sins be 
as scarlet, they shall be white as snow ; tiiough 
they be red like crimson, they shall be as 
wool.'^ ''The people that walked in dark- 
ness have seen a great light. . . . For 
unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given : 
and the government shall be upon his shoul- 
der : and his name shall be called Wonderful 
Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting 
Father, The Prince of Peace." In that far 
off Messianic hope touching a God who draws 
near to save the people from their sins, the 
prophet saw the dawning of a new day. 

The final forces in human society are 
always the spiritual forces. "Legislation 
does not change men and women. It merely 
alters relationships and opportunities. The 
greater our material wealth, the more numer- 


ous our liberties, the more complex our social 
organization, the larger our opportunities, 
political and otherwise, the greater the de- 
mand for sobriety, integrity, thoughtfulness, 
and devotion. We have more wealth, more 
machinery, more freedom, more opportunities 
now than we have insight, self-discipline, in- 
dustry, love, and faith. Therefore, we have 
indifferent labor, luxury, extravagance, profi- 
teering, unfairness, and unrest. The only 
things that will ever bring the highest meas- 
ure of peace, prosperity, and happiness to a 
nation are the spiritual forces." 

Here is the bottom question in our Chris- 
tian faith to-day. It is not as to whether 
Jesus Christ was bom of a virgin, or whether 
the body which was laid in the tomb of Joseph 
of Arimathaea after Jesus was crucified under 
Pontius Pilate was the same body which was 
raised again the third day, or the question 
whether we have in every case the exact 
words which fell from the lips of the Master 
or only an approximately correct report of 
them. These are all interesting questions, but 
they are not central nor vital. The real ques- 
tions are these: '*Is Jesus Christ a Saviour? 
Can he save the people from their sins?" 
And this is a matter of experience which 
everyone can test for himself. It does not re- 



quire for its determination technical scholar- 
ship nor a knowledge of materials which are 
accessible only to the trained intelligence — it 
requires only an open mind and an honest 

Does Jesus Christ renew our hearts and 
purify our affections? Does he strengthen 
our wills and place our feet more firmly in 
the way of duty, causing us to walk evenly 
and steadily in the way that goeth upward! 
Does he take the aspirations which have 
begun to droop and set them bravely against 
the sky? Does he confirm and reenforce those 
finer impulses which make for righteousness ? 
If he can do that, if he does do that, for the 
lives of men and women, then he is a Saviour, 
the Desire of the nations and the Hope of 
the race. 

**Come now, let us reason together, saith 
the Lord," touching that which is vital. Re- 
ligion is not magic nor sleight-of-hand where- 
by two and two can be made to look like 
five or possibly fifty. Religion is not a piece 
of moral shuffling whereby guilt can be im- 
puted to innocence and righteousness can be 
imputed to those who are doing wrong. Re- 
ligion is a reasoned form of moral intercourse 
between these finite spirits of ours and the 
Infinite spirit of Him who is the Source and 


the Summit of all being. It is the living of a 
filial life in daily, hourly fellowship with Him 
who is our Father in heaven. And its benefits 
are to be realized in that direct impress of 
the Spirit of God upon the heart of every man 
who makes an honest and intelligent approach 
to his Maker. 

The social problems which are so vexing 
the hearts of men to-day can be solved only on 
the basis of this finer type of personal char- 
acter here made possible. ''The fallacy of 
the Socialist program, ' ' says Francis G. Pea- 
body of Harvard, ''is not in its radicalism 
but in its extemalism. It purposes to ac- 
complish by economic change what can be at- 
tained by nothing less than spiritual regen- 
eration. Its program depends for efficacy on 
unselfishness, brotherliness, and love of ser- 
vice, but no way for the training of these 
virtues is provided or indeed devised. Trans- 
formation of business methods would, it is 
assumed, convert the same people who are 
HOW brutall}^ self-seeking and skillfully cruel 
into agents of magnanimity, fraternity, and 

"To Jesus, on the other hand, the root of 
commercial wrongs is in commercialized de- 
sire. The force of competition is not one 
which can be abolished but it is one which can 



be converted. However loyally a disciple of 
Jesus Christ may enlist for a campaign of 
social change, or however vividly he may 
dream of a new industrial order more con- 
sistent with Christian brotherhood, he finds 
in the teaching of Jesus no encouragement to 
delay discipleship until that better world 
arrives. On the contrary, he finds set before 
him the much more difficult task of creating 
the characters which may utilize the better 
order when it comes. "^ 

This prophet of old coveted that experience 
of moral renewal for all his fellow citizens 
to the end that his country might be sublime 
in character. If the Great War has taught us 
anything, it has taught us that ''when ma- 
terial efficiency is separated from high pur- 
pose and is lined up against moral reality, the 
material efficiency will go down in defeat." 
It may make a few successful skirmishes; it 
may win an occasional battle, but it will lose 
the war. We have seen ''the will to power" 
stripped of all false ornament and standing 
forth naked and unashamed in all its indecent 
ugliness on Flanders Field. And we have 
also lived to see the hateful thing go down in 
defeat before the arms of righteousness. 

1 Reprinted from The Christian Life in the Modern World (p. 82), by F. 
G. Peabody, by permiasion of the publishers, The Macmillan Company. 



The seraph flying through the open heavens 
in order to touch the lips of that gifted young 
Hebrew with a live coal from the altar of God 
and thus set him free for his work as a 
prophet of the Lord, symbolized the whole 
spiritual order which overarches this earthly 
life of ours. Our feet may plod along the 
dusty roads of common life, but all the while 
our heads and our hearts may be moving 
freely among the stars. It doth not yet 
appear what we shall be ultimately but 
already we are the sons of Grod able, if we will 
have it so, to be at last like him. 

The ghost that walked in Hamlet to plague 
the soul of the listless son, and the fateful 
witches which plied the soul of Macbeth with 
foul ambitions to wear the crown, cost what it 
might, were used by the great dramatist to 
give the sense of the vast, mysterious, intan- 
gible forces which beat and play upon these 
little lives of ours. And it is possible for 
every one of us to be so renewed and enriched 
by the impact of the Divine Spirit that when 
the call of duty comes he will respond as did 
this prophet of old in no uncertain tone, 
''Here am I, send me." The final forces in 
personal and in national life are the spiritual 

It was Theodore Eoosevelt, an astute and 


successful politician, who wrote these signifi- 
cant words just a short time before he died : 
''We recognize and we are bound to war 
against the evils of to-day. The remedies are 
partly economic and partly spiritual, partly 
to be obtained by laws but in greater part to 
be obtained by individual and associated 
effort, for character is the vital matter, and 
character cannot be created by law. These 
remedies include a religious and moral teach- 
ing which shall increase the spirit of human 
brotherhood, an educational system which 
shall train men for every form of useful ser- 
vice, and a government so strong, wise, just, 
and democratic that neither lagging too far 
behind nor pushing heedlessly in advance, it 
may do its full share in promoting these 
ends. ' ' 

This land of ours which we all love is 
great to-day, in so far as it is truly great 
in the eyes of God and in the sight of the 
nations, not because of our broad acres and 
our rich mineral deposits, not because of our 
tens of thousands of miles of railroad and the 
material wealth accumulated in our banks — 
this country displays its true greatness only 
in so far as its purposes and ideals are found 
to be in harmony with the will of the Most 
High. National greatness as well as personal 



salvation is dependent upon the quality of 
character within. 

You may possibly remember how Phillips 
Brooks stood one night in Westminster 
Abbey, London — it was the night of the 
Fourth of July. When he had finished his 
splendid sermon from the text, ''The spirit 
of man is the candle of the Lord, ' ' he paused 
to add these significant words: ''May I ask 
you to linger while I say to you a few words 
more which shall not be unsuited to what I 
have been saying, and which shall, for just a 
moment, recall to you the sacredness which 
this day — the Fourth of July, the anniversary 
of American Independence — has in the hearts 
of us Americans. If I dare — generously per- 
mitted as I am to stand this evening in this 
venerable Abbey so full of our history as 
well as yours — to claim that our festival shall 
have some sacredness for you as well as for 
us, my claim rests on the simple truth that to 
all true men the birthday of a nation must 
always be a sacred thing. For in our thought 
the nation is the making place of men. Not 
by the traditions of its history, nor by the 
splendor of its corporate achievements, nor 
by the abstract excellence of its constitution, 
but by its fitness to make men must each 
nation be judged. 



**It is not for me to glorify my country for 
anything that she has been or done, but on 
my country 's birthday I may ask you for this 
prayer on her behalf — that on the manifold 
and wondrous chance which Grod is giving 
her; on her freedom and on her passion for 
education; on her care for the poor man's 
rights and on her countless quiet homes; on 
her wide gates open to the east and to the 
west and on that strange meeting of the races 
out of which a new race is slowly being born 
— I may ask you for your prayer that on all 
these materials and machineries of manhood 
the blessing of God the Father of man and 
Christ the Son of man may rest. ' '^ 

The welfare of any land depends in the last 
analysis on the qualities of mind and heart 
possessed by the rank and file of the people. 
And the only people who can show themselves 
competent to cooperate with the God of na- 
tions in the fulfillment of his great design 
for all the lands of earth are those who by 
the development of moral purpose and the 
habit of spiritual aspiration become indeed 
the instruments of the Most High. No man 
can make good unless he is fitted and pre- 
pared in heart no less than in hand and brain 

1 By permission, from vol. 2 of Phillips Brooks Sermons. Copyright by 
E. P. Button & Co. 




to meet the demands of this exalted service. 
Be ye therefore ready, for in such an hour as 
ye think not the call of duty comes. 

When Admiral Dewey died in the city of 
Washington he was eighty years old. He had 
spent sixty-two of those years in the service 
of his country. He came of fighting stock — 
his great-grandfather had fought at Lexing- 
ton in 1775 — and for George Dewey the color 
of life was always red. When war threatened 
with Spain in 1897 Admiral Dewey was 
placed in command of the Asiatic squadron. 
He got his ships together, coaled them, fitted 
them out with food and munitions, and had 
them at Hongkong the very day that the 
Maine was blown up in the harbor of Havana. 
He had made it the business of his life to be 

He had studied the Philippines and the en- 
trance to the harbor of Manila until he was 
as familiar with it all as a college boy is with 
'his own campus. When war was declared 
the order was cabled to him, ''Destroy the 
Spanish fleet and take Manila." He went in 
at once and did it without the loss of a ship 
or of a single man. He was ready. Not 
many men were ready at that time. Four 
months after that date our soldiers were 
dying in droves in Cuba and in the military 



camps in tMs country for lack of adequate 
preparedness. All honor to the man who is 
ready — ^when the morning comes he goes up ! 

Now, peace hath her problems and her vic- 
tories no less renowned than war. The solu- 
tion of these problems in civic, in economic, 
and in religious life demands a service no 
less heroic and no less competent than the 
winning of battles by land or by sea. The 
best gift that any man here in this univer- 
sity can make to his country and to his God is 
the gift of one more upright, devoted, trained, 
and serviceable life, such as it lies within 
the power of each one of us to furnish. And 
when these great gifts are being made here, 
there, and yonder, as men give of their best 
to the highest they see, we shall behold the 
kingdom of God coming with power and great 

Come up, then, as college men to the help of 
the Lord against the mighty disaster which 
has befallen this poor world of ours. Build 
here and there and everywhere temples of 
fresh impulse and aspiration. Build walls of 
nobler habit and of finer method. Build those 
structures which shall stand when all earthly 
tabernacles have been dissolved. Plan for 
it and pray for it, that by competent leader- 
ship, by enlisting the cooperation of right- 



minded people and by the stimulus from 
above, we may build with. Him cities fair and 
new in that better social order which shall be 
a joy to the whole earth and the dwelling 
place of the Most High! 

"O beautiful my country, ours once more! 
What were our lives without thee! 
What all our lives to save thee! 
We reck not what we give thee, 
We will not dare to doubt thee. 
But ask whatever else and we will dare!" 




The Jews have a way of getting on. They 
show their skill not only in commercial life 
but in the political affairs of nations. For 
nearly twenty centuries the Jew has been a 
man without a country, yet he has been able 
to make himself at home in all countries and 
to put his feet on the rounds of the ladder. 

Here was Joseph in the land of Egypt, 
rising from the position of a slave boy until 
he stood at Pharaoh's right hand. Here was 
Daniel at the court of Babylon, preferred 
above all the presidents and princes of the 
realm. Here was Benjamin Disraeli, a Jew, 
coming to be Prime Minister of Great Britain 
and the trusted adviser of her Most Christian 
Majesty Queen Victoria! And here in the 
same long line was Nehemiah at the court of 
Persia, appointed to be cupbearer to the 

The office of cupbearer in that far off time 
was an important and lucrative position. It 
was before the days of Federal prohibition, 



and the man who looked after the king's wine 
was by no means the last on the list. It was 
his business to see to it that the king was not 
poisoned in his cups by the paid tool of some 
rival aspirant to the throne. The cupbearer 
was a man honored and trusted in ofl&cial cir- 
cles, and Nehemiah had done well for himself. 

He lived at a time of great distress in his 
own little country. Palestine at that time was 
as unhappy as was Belgium during the last 
three years of the War and for much 
the same reason. Nebuchadnezzar had cap- 
tured the city of Jerusalem. He had thrown 
down the walls and destroyed the Temple. 
Many of the people he had carried into cap- 
tivity, and those who were left were poor and 
disheartened. Industry was disorganized 
and the whole country was trampled under 
foot by a brutal invader. 

Nehemiah learned of the sore distress of 
his native land from a group of Jews who 
were in Persia. He decided at once to throw 
up his lucrative position at that foreign court 
and return to Palestine as a leader in the 
hard task of reconstruction. He made his 
long, perilous journey across the wide 
stretches of sand. When he reached Jeru- 
salem, he made a personal survey of the 
needs of the stricken city. He then organized 




and directed those forces which were to re- 
build the life of his nation. His example will 
furnish us useful suggestion for our own 
efforts in this hard period of the world 's his- 
tory, when so much of the world has to be 
rebuilt, and built better than it was before the 

The whole world has been torn to pieces 
during the last six years. It has been torn 
to pieces politically. The boundaries of many 
countries have been shifted. There has been 
a Republic of Poland created by taking terri- 
tory from Austria, Germany, and Russia. 
There is a Czecho-Slovakia and a Jugo- 
slavia and a Lithuania, and many other new 
and untried powers. Great areas of territory 
on the continents of Asia and Africa have 
been transferred from one control to another. 
The geographies which we used six years ago 
are of no more account to-day than so much 
waste paper. The Baedeker guidebooks of 
Europe have all been put into the discard. 

The world has been torn to pieces indus- 
trially. The work of manufacture was dis- 
ordered by the diversion of vast amounts of 
capital and millions of laborers into the task 
of creating munitions. High wages were paid 
and huge profits were gained because the 
work could not be delayed until men should 



have struck closer bargains. *'A certain 
mailed customer had appeared whose wants 
were gigantic but mad and unsymmetrical. 
He required only special things, but he re- 
quired them in enormous quantities and he 
would pay any price. The profit for serving 
him was fabulous — and for profit he was 
served. Holders of war contracts bid wages 
Tip on each other in a fantastic manner. The 
war contractor stood at his competitor's fac- 
tory gate offering ten dollars or twelve dol- 
lars a day for conamon labor, thereby upset- 
ting all the schedules and entailing millions 
of readjustments. ' ' The dislocation of indus- 
try became an ominous fact. Now the muni- 
tions are no longer needed in such huge quan- 
tities and all that capital and labor must be 
restored to those channels of activity which 
have to do not with destroying men's lives 
but with saving them. And the task of re- 
turning to normal standards and conditions 
in industry and conmierce is a most difficult 
one to perform. 

The world has been torn to pieces intellec- 
tually and morally. Many of the old beliefs 
and ethical standards have been rudely 
shaken and in countless instances destroyed. 
Millions of men and women were suddenly 
thrown out of the wholesome moral habits to 



which they were accustomed into new and un- 
tried lines of action. The disaster of the war 
was so appalling that the minds and hearts of 
many stood aghast. They cried out in 
anguish of spirit: ''Where now is thy God? 
Is there knowledge with the Most High?'* 
In all these diverse fields of human interest 
the dislocation has been so serious as to ren- 
der the work of rebuilding a primary obliga- 

''Is Europe dying!'* asks Sir Philip Gibbs, 
a wise observer of conditions during the 
Great War and of the general drift since the 
armistice was signed. "Is Europe dying? No 
man, unless he is blind or drunk with opti- 
mism, can deny that at the present time Eu- 
rope is very sick. During the last year I 
have visited many countries of Europe, and 
in most of them I found a sense of impending 
ruin and dreadful anxiety touching the fu- 
ture. In some countries ruin is not impend- 
ing — ^it is present and engulfing. Austria 
is so stricken, starving, helpless, and hope- 
less that she exists on charity alone and is 
sapped of all vital strength. Germany is in a 
better state, but people who imagine that her 
factories are at full blast and that she will 
soon be rich, strong, and truculent again are, 
in my opinion, deluded by false evidence. 



Eussia is one great empire of misery, and no 
mortal soul knows yet what agony she still 
has to suffer before her social revolution has 
worked itself out. Poland, like Eussia, is 
typhus-stricken and starving in her cities, 
ravaged by tidal waves of war. Italy stag- 
gers under a vast load of debt, her paper 
money worthless in its chase after high prices, 
unemployment growing like creeping paral- 
ysis, her constant strikes for higher wages 
senseless and futile. France was joyous for 
a little while with the intoxication of victory 
after years of sacrifice, but to-day many of 
her men are saying: *Our million dead will 
never come to life again. Our debts will 
never be paid. Our industries are decaying 
for lack of coal. Our deaths last year were 
higher than our births by two hundred and 
twenty thousand, and our population is 
diminishing. France, victorious, is dying. ^ 
England has been less hurt by the war than 
most of the other countries who were in it, 
but without analyzing our present discontent 
it is enough to glance at the headlines of to- 
day's paper or to have a chat with any dis- 
charged and unemployed soldier to repudiate 
the gains of England in the war." The 
whole world has been torn to pieces and must 
be rebuilt. 



You will notice these three things about 
the work of this ancient prophet. First, he 
did not bring to the task of reconstruction 
money or material or men. He brought, how- 
ever, that which was equally important — ^he 
brought impulse and inspiration. 

The work of social rebuilding does not live 
by bread alone. It lives also by those great 
words of faith and hope and love, of courage, 
aspiration and high resolve which proceed 
out of the mouth of God. In many quarters 
to-day the sorest need is not that of money 
nor of material; it is the need of better im- 
pulses and of a finer quality of inspiration 
on the part of the people who are responsible 
for the task of rebuilding. 

Here at the close of the Great War the 
people of certain countries are utterly dis- 
couraged by the calamities through which 
they have passed. They have no heart to 
take hold. In other lands the heads of the 
common people have been turned by the high 
wages paid during the war, and they have 
lost all sense of proportion. They are ex- 
hibiting a reckless and demoralizing ex- 
travagance. In other sections the common 
people have been made desperate by the 
profiteering and the waste which they have 
witnessed. They are disposed to fling com- 


mon sense and sound principle to the winds. 
In every community of earth to-day there is 
need of those leaders who can furnish better 
impulses and a finer quality of inspiration 
for the great work of social repair. 

How fine was the spirit shown by those 
Jews when once the leadership of Nehemiah 
was brought to bear upon them in the day of 
reconstruction! "So built we the wall, for 
the people had a mind to work; and they 
labored together from the rising of the sun 
until the stars appeared." 

They were not working with their eyes on 
the clock. They were not just waiting for 
the whistle to blow. They were not trying to 
get through the day with as little effort as 
possible without actually losing their jobs. 
They were bent upon accomplishing some- 
thing. They had some sense of joy and pride 
in their work. They wrought with their eyes 
upon a worthy goal. 

In many lands to-day one of the gravest 
problems to be faced lies in the unwillingness 
of able-bodied men and women to engage 
again in ordinary productive effort. The ab- 
normal conditions which prevailed for four 
years seemed to weaken the spirit of self- 
reliance and to replace the habit of personal 
industry with a vague sense of dependence 




upon society as a whole for the needed sup- 

One of the tragic things in the work-a-day 
world to-day is the fact that so many people 
seem to have no pride nor joy in the work 
they do. Several years ago President Eliot, 
of Harvard, was addressing an audience of 
labor union men on Sunday afternoon in 
Fanueil Hall, Boston. He was speaking about 
the responsibilities of labor, and his address 
was packed with wise and cogent statement. 
The following Sunday President Driscoll, of 
the Central Labor Council of Boston, was 
addressing a similar audience in the same 
place. At one point in his address he looked 
up from the manuscript he was reading to 
say, "President Eliot spoke to you last Sun- 
day about * The Joy of Work. ' ' ' Instantly a 
wave of loud, derisive laughter swept over 
the audience. The idea that any man could 
be so utterly silly as to talk about ''the joy 
of work" seemed to them like a bitter kind of 
joke. And that laughter was the saddest 
thing that old Fanueil Hall had heard in 
many a day. These men had lost all sense of 
pride and joy in their work without realizing 
apparently that thereby they were losing 
their own souls. 

The manual laborer is not solely to blame. 



The sorry conditions prevailing in mncli of 
onr modern industry militate against the 
thing for which I would plead. When I was 
a boy growing up on an Iowa farm, the old 
village shoemaker made boots with tops on 
them for my father and for me. We would go 
in together and he would measure our feet, 
rights and lefts, and then select his leather 
and proceed to make two complete pairs of 
boots. When we went in ten days later to 
try them on, if they fitted, as they almost 
always did, he had the joy of seeing us walk 
off in them and he had the satisfaction of 
looking upon a completed piece of work from 
his own hands and brain. All this is much less 
easy in those huge shoeshops at Lynn or 
Brockton, Massachusetts, where thousands of 
men and women are working, each one per- 
forming a single monotonous bit of labor with 
a machine upon fifty thousand pairs of shoes 
which pass through his hands in the same pe- 
riod of time. 

The wide introduction of machinery, the 
minute division of labor, and the consequent 
monotony of toil in many a factory, together 
with the long remove between the efforts of 
tens of thousands of men and women and the 
finished product, have a direful influence 
upon the artisan. We have overlaid the man 



with the machine for the sake of the cheaper 
and more abundant supply of things. 

One of the serious indictments of our pres- 
ent industrial order lies in the fact that it 
does not readily produce that morale which 
is needed in the factory as well as in the 
army. The surroundings of industry are 
often coarsening and debasing. Many of the 
articles manufactured are made 'Ho sell 
rather than to serve. ' ' This underlying pur- 
pose rapidly debases the industry and de- 
grades the workers. As some one has cleverly 
said, ' ' The making of a cotton lie or a wooden 
lie reacts upon the morals of the man as 
much as the making of a spoken lie.'* The 
spirit of the place may be not one of good 
will but one of ill will between those who em- 
ploy and those who are employed. All this 
is distinctly evil in its ultimate effect. There 
is a constant moral loss when work is done 
under such conditions or in such a mood. 
There is a tremendous economic loss where 
the work of the world is done in the wrong 
way, but the moral loss in personal aspira- 
tion, in that joy and pride in one's own work 
which ought to accompany all useful indus- 
try, in the fine sense of human fellowship in 
wholesome activity, is more terrible still. It 
was a glorious fact that those Jews under 



this gifted leader stood ready to labor with 
enthusiasm from the rising of the sun until 
the stars appeared. 

So long as men and women must work in 
order to live there is nothing else for it. And 
it is altogether best that it should be so. An 
endless series of holidays or even half-holi- 
days would be perdition for the race. Those 
amiable loafers in the South Sea islands of 
whom Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack Lon- 
don write in such picturesque fashion, are 
not to be envied. It has been their sad lot 
to live where bread fruit and bananas can be 
picked off the trees in tropical abundance, 
enough in an hour to last for a week, where 
the lazy fish in the warm waters of the bay 
can almost be taken with the bare hand. But 
those conditions have not furnished us that 
robust and resourceful type of manhood 
which most appeals to the moral imagination. 
It would be the making of those easy-going 
natives if they had to live for a few centuries 
on Cape Cod or on the Labrador coast. It is 
by the discipline of sturdy effort that all the 
higher values are wrought out. 

Nehemiah was ready also to pay the neces- 
sary price for that complete knowledge of the 
facts which would make him competent as a 
leader. When he reached Jerusalem, he did 



not flood the commimity with advance notices 
of what he proposed to do for its uplift. Had 
there been newspapers in that day he would 
not have covered half i)ages of them with 
flaming advertisements of the ''welfare 
work" he proposes to inaugurate. 

''He took his beast one night and rode out 
over the city, taking stock of his task and of 
his resources. He did not propose to allow 
the wishes of a good heart to be a substitute 
for the knowledge of a good head. He in- 
sisted upon accurate information as a neces- 
sary preliminary in community building. He 
returned from his personal survey with that 
definite information. Seven of the important 
gateways of the city were in ruins ; the streets 
were full of rubbish ; walls were to be rebuilt ; 
and all of this must be done by voluntary 
labor. "1 

Thus he was able through his thorough 
knowledge of the situation and the inspira- 
tion he brought to develop the spirit needed 
for the great task of reconstruction. He or- 
ganized the people in such a way as to make 
their service most effective. He distributed 
his forces so that in rebuilding the walls of 
the city "every man should built over against 

'The Bible as a Community Book, A. E. Holt, p. 56. The WomanB 
Press, New York. 


his own house." Here was that combination 
of self-interest and of public spirit which is 
always to be desired. Every man would 
want that part of the wall near his own home 
to be solidly built, so that if a breach should 
come under some hostile attack, it would not 
come there. By this bit of strategy he induced 
them to do square work, and square work only, 
in the reconstruction of the life of their city. 

It is a good plan always to urge people to 
do the duty which lies nearest. That will 
be the best possible preparation for duties 
which lie further on. ''Wisdom," David 
Starr Jordan used to say, ''is knowing what 
to do next. Virtue is doing it." There are 
far-sighted people, alas, who are forever try- 
ing to love and pray for and Christianize 
their fellow beings on the other side of the 
globe, who have not yet learned to love the 
people who live on the other side of the 
street. Let every man do first the duty which 
lies nearest. Let him build over against his 
own life that particular part of the better 
world for which he is made responsible. It 
is a good division of labor when each man's 
name can thus be openly attached to the bit 
of work with which he is intrusted. 

In the second place, Nehemiah showed the 
people the wider significance of what they 


were called to do. He was asked at one time 
to go off for a trip into the country. He re- 
fused. *'I am doing a great work," he re- 
plied, *'I cannot come down." 

He was laying bricks. But every brick 
went into a wall. The wall was to surround 
the capital city of his country as its main 
defense. And the city was Jerusalem, the 
place where the divine honor dwelt more con- 
spicuously and more continuously for cen- 
turies than at any other spot on earth. 

When we remember what the salvation of 
the world owes to the Jewish race ; when we 
remember that the Jews wrote the Holy Scrip- 
tures of our own faith; when we remember 
that the Saviour of the world, the Desire of 
the Nations, was born in Bethlehem of Judaea 
of the house and lineage of David, we stand 
ready to indorse the prophet's claim. To lay 
bricks in a wall which protects the capital 
city of a people whose life is so bound up with 
the moral and spiritual advance of mankind, 
is a great work, and he had better not come 

But this trusted leader was doing some- 
thing other and greater than building a wall 
— ^he was aiding in the rebuilding of a nation's 
life. He knew that bricks and mortar, walls 
and battlements furnish no sure defense. 



"The walls of Sparta are built of Spartans," 
sang the Greek poet. The worst enemies of 
any city are inside rather than outside. ' ' Ex- 
cept the Lord build the house, they labor in 
vain that build it. Except the Lord keep the 
city, the watchman waketh but in vain." 
Except great principles and worthy ideals be 
securely lodged in the minds and hearts of 
the people who inhabit the city, nothing of 
lasting worth is accomplished. Therefore, 
along with his task of material achievement, 
Nehemiah drew the attention of the people to 
the law of God. "He gathered them together 
and opened the book and read therein dis- 
tinctly, so that all the people could under- 
stand. He read from morning until midday, 
and all the people were very attentive to 
hear him. ' ' He would have every man among 
them looking up into the face of his Maker 
saying, "Thy word have I hid in my heart, 
that I might not sin. Thy word is a lamp 
unto my feet and a light unto my path. ' ' 

Nehemiah had the full sense of stewardship 
in regard to the life of his country. Jeru- 
salem was to be built as " a city that was com- 
pact together" because the house of the Lord 
was there, and all the tribes of earth would 
come up in thought, in desire, and in aspira- 
tion for the quality of spiritual leadership 



there offered. He heard the voice of God 
saying to Israel: ^'I will bless thee, and thou 
shalt be a blessing. I will make of thee a 
great nation, and in thee shall all the nations 
of the earth be blessed." '*Save Israel," God 
was saying to him in that high hour, ''that 
Israel may help to save the world. ' ' 

For any man to have the humblest part in 
laying line upon line, precept upon precept, 
thought upon thought, and aspiration upon 
aspiration, here a little and yonder a great 
deal, in that finer quality of national life, 
which was to reach out in Messianic fashion 
for the betterment of the whole earth, was 
indeed a great work. Where the sense of 
individual obligation is held apart from the 
broader social order it becomes weak and 
thin. It is the larger vision which fires the 

In the third place, the prophet united the 
militant and the constructive virtues. He 
was attacked by Sanballat, Tobiah, and Ge- 
shom, three first-class rascals in that far off 
time. They sneered at Nehemiah's undertak- 
ing. "What would these feeble Jews dot 
Will they fortify their city? If even a fox 
would go up by the wall, he would break down 
what they build. ' ' But the people had a mind 
to work, and they kept right on laying bricks. 



Then the enemies of the divine purpose at- 
tacked them in open hostility, and the 
Hebrews had to defend themselves. *'Let 
every man gird on his sword," their leader 
cried. And the builders went forth each one 
with his sword at his side. In one hand he 
carried his trowel, and with the other he could 
reach for his sword to repel the hostile attack. 
The work was great and large, and the people 
were scattered along the wall; but when the 
trumpet sounded announcing an attack, they 
went swiftly to that spot with their re- 
enforcements and drove the enemy back. 
' ' So built we the wall ; for people had a mind 
to work" — that was their rallying cry. And 
the wall went steadily up, and the moral fiber 
of the nation was steadily strengthened by 
devotion to a common task. 

The two lines of effort here suggested may 
well be followed at this very hour. The mili- 
tant and the constructive virtues are both in 
demand. The minds of all honest-hearted 
people to-day are strongly set upon that 
wholesome industry which ministers to the 
peace and prosperity of society. But the 
sword as well as the trowel has to be taken 
along. It is necessary for the friends of 
righteousness to smite hip and thigh the ene- 
mies of the divine purpose. The rum-seller, 



the gambler, and the brothel-keeper, the in- 
dustrial slacker, the political grafter, and the 
ruthless profiteer — these are the Sanballats 
of modern life, and they have to be fought 
all klong the line. When they hinder the work 
of social reconstruction, they have to be 
beaten back that the good work may go on. 

Here at this hour in our own land the worst 
enemies of the republic are not to be found 
among those red-mouthed individuals who 
are forever screaming about revolution. The 
actual influence of these showy, noisy souls 
upon the great body of our citizens, as we 
saw in the last presidential election, is almost 
negligible. The worst enemies are to be 
found among those who are too indifferent, 
too selfish, too preoccupied to raise a hand. 
''Let George do it!" Let anybody do it, so 
long as we are not disturbed. 

Here we were in the summer of 1920 
charged with the responsibility of selecting 
a President of the United States. In the face 
of the vital and vexing national questions he 
would have to consider, and in the face of 
the world problems with which he would have 
to deal, had there ever been a time when it 
was more important that a man, strong, wise, 
just, far-seeing, competent, statesmanlike, 
should be sent to the White House 1 What a 



challenge the responsibility of selecting such 
a man offered to thoughtful, discriminating, 
patriotic, and honest citizens everywhere! 
You would have expected them to rise up and 
insist upon having their way rather than 
leave the grave responsibility of making suit- 
able nominations to the short-sighted, parti- 
san politicians who are always so actively on 
the job. 

Here we were charged also with the respon- 
sibility of electing a Congress to deal in a 
large and just way with those vast problems 
at home and abroad, and to show us some- 
thing better than the dallying and vaporing 
in the United States Senate which has humili- 
ated us all. It is the duty of every right- 
minded man and of every right-minded 
woman, now charged with a new political re- 
sponsibility, to go forth with sword and 
trowel to fight and to build in that better 
quality of national life so sorely needed for 
our own security and for the wider service 
of the world's need. 

I could speak of many different directions 
which this work of rebuilding might well take 
— let me name just two. There must come, 
in the first place, here in our own land as 
well as in other lands, a better type of indus- 
trial life. It is not a mere question of wages 


and hours — wages are high to-day and the 
hours are being adjusted more and more 
with reference to the needs of life. It is a 
question as to the mood and temper in which 
men with capital and organizing, administra- 
tive ability, and men with muscle and 
mechanical skill shall act. Shall they act 
together in the spirit of cooperation and 
brotherhood, or shall they draw apart in the 
spirit of antagonism? In my judgment we 
shall only achieve that larger measure of 
peace and prosperity in the workaday world 
where it is so sorely needed as we realize 
these three great social principles. 

1. There must come a more democratic 
spirit in the control of the great industries. 
Every man, whether he be a millionaire or a 
hodcarrier, is consulted as to who shall be the 
mayor of his city and who shall compose the 
city council. He is consulted as to who shall 
be the governor of his State and who shall sit 
in the Legislature. He is consulted as to who 
shall be President of the United States and 
who shall make up our national Congress. He 
is compelled to live under the laws made and 
executed by those officials, and it is only just 
that he should be consulted. 

But touching that which affects his welfare 
and the welfare of his family much more inti-^ 



mately and steadily than all this he has some- 
times been scarcely consulted at all. He has 
been offered employment on certain terms, 
and has been told that he could either ''take 
it or leave it" and that was all there was 
about it. He has not been consulted touching 
the various methods and conditions which 
affect his employment in that industry. He 
has not been called into conference, either 
personally or through his representatives, 
touching those policies which will determine 
the spirit and temper in which the work is to 
be done. He has been treated as a "hand" 
rather than as a man. 

The man who invests his money and his 
organizing, administrative ability in any 
enterprise has a clear right to be heard 
touching the operation of that industry. And 
the plain men and women not possessed of 
capital or of five talents each of that organiz- 
ing ability, but putting in for years together 
the best part of their lives in the work they 
do — they too have a right to be heard. And 
the broad-minded employers (of whom there 
are many to-day, and the number is steadily 
increasing) are recognizing that fact. They 
are encouraging the spirit of initiative, the 
extension of responsibility, the development 
of plans by the workers themselves for the 



improvement of the enterprise and for the 
larger welfare of all those whose lives are 
bound up together in that economic organiza- 

One of the largest and most important 
railroad corporations in the country, the 
Pennsylvania, opened the New Year with a 
plan for consultation with their employees 
which will surely make for better relations. 
The plan provides for a system of committees, 
local and regional, culminating in a joint re- 
viewing committee of the whole Pennsylvania 
system. On each one of these committees the 
managers and the employees have equal rep- 
resentation. Questions which arise are to be 
settled by the local or regional committee ac- 
cording to the issues involved, but the final 
authority is lodged with the joint reviewing 
committee, whose decisions are to be accepted 
as final. In order to prevent a possible dead- 
lock in the committees through the lining up 
of employees' representatives on one side 
and the managers on the other, a two-thirds 
vote is required for all decisions. This plan 
does not deny the right to strike, but it in- 
sures a reasonable time for discussion of any 
differences or grievances before such action 
looking toward a strike could be taken. The 
hearty agreement upon this plan by both 


managers and employees, giving to both sides 
a voice in determining questions of policy, 
promises a lessening of friction and an in- 
crease of the spirit of cooperation. 

''Inasmuch as the workers contribute to 
production the indispensable factor of their 
toil and skill, the Christian thinker must 
recognize the fairness of labor's insistence 
upon being heard in all adjustments which 
have to do with the industry. The battle for 
a voice in wage-fixing has been pretty well 
fought through; but industrial democracy 
really implies more than such collective bar- 
gaining in wages and hours. It implies that 
labor shall be heard in all questions which 
have to do with the conditions in which the 
laborer works, with the shop and its control, 
with the control of the industry itself through 
place on boards of directors. The trade union 
is fighting and winning a great battle against 
paternalism. Capitalists are not as a rule 
moved by impulses to oppression. Undoubt- 
edly the majority of them mean well by their 
men. They are willing to do all within their 
power for the men except to let the men have 
the power to do for themselves. But pater- 
Halism is an insidious foe to democracy. 
. . . The Christian ideal is not a class 
struggle and a class triumph, but a coopera- 



tion on all sides for the good of the whole 
community. ' ' 

2. There must come a more equitable dis- 
tribution of the good things of life between 
those who toil mainly with their heads and 
those who toil mainly with their hands. You 
notice that I do not say equal, I say equitable. 
I believe that it is altogether just and desir- 
able that to men of five talents of organizing 
and administrative ability there should be 
given an exceptional reward. It is in that 
way that the development of exceptional abil- 
ity is stimulated. But the distribution has 
not always been equitable. 

Let me put the matter in concrete form: 
Some years ago in the city of New York a 
gentleman died whose name was Cornelius 
Vanderbilt. He was a man possessed of many 
splendid traits of character in his personal and 
domestic life. He was highly esteemed and 
beloved by a wide circle of personal friends. 
He gave generously of his means to the work 
of religion, of education, and of charity. I 
am not singling him out for any sort of per- 
sonal attack, which would be manifestly un- 
fair. I merely select him as an outstanding 
figure in a certain system. 

When this gentleman died we are told that 
he left a fortune in round numbers of one 


hundred and eighty millions of dollars, which 
at that time was regarded as a very large 
fortune. The question arose instantly, How 
far did that one hundred and eighty millions 
of dollars represent a service actually ren- 
dered to society by Mr. Vanderbilt, a service 
for which society could well afford to pay 
him that sum of money? Or, How far did it 
represent money which was really earned by 
the engineers and the firemen, the brakemen 
and the section hands on the railroads he con- 
trolled? How far did it represent money 
paid by farmers who shipped their produce 
to market over those railroads ? How far did 
it represent money contributed by the con- 
sumers of that produce who had to pay more 
because of the freight rates charged? How 
far did it represent money contributed by the 
passengers who traveled on those railroads? 
The money was undoubtedly in his hands, but 
did it represent an equitable pajment made 
for an actual service rendered to society ? 

Let me ask another man to come forward 
and stand up alongside of Mr. Vanderbilt. If 
we should accept for the purpose of illus- 
tration the old Usher Chronology (sometimes 
printed in the margins of our Bibles) as being 
accurate, we would find that Adam and Eve 
lived here on earth four thousand and four 



years before Christ. In round numbers, then, 
the human race, according to that reckoning, 
has been here on earth about six thousand 
years. Now, suppose that Adam had lived 
until this day. Suppose that he had worked 
steadily three hundred days in the year for 
those six thousand years. Suppose that he 
had been possessed of no ordinary ability but 
had been a man capable of earning one hun- 
dred dollars a day, which is very good pay — 
better than that received by any professor in 
Yale University at the present time. If Adam 
had worked for six thousand years, three 
hundred days in the year and had received 
one hundred dollars a day in wages over and 
above the cost of his keep, he too would have 
been at this time in possession of exactly 
$180,000,000, not making allowance for the 
interest on his savings. 

Now, the question arises. Did Mr. Vander- 
bilt, in his short lifetime, render a service to 
society equal in value to what a man capable 
of earning one hundred dollars a day would 
have rendered if he had worked three hun- 
dred days in the year for the period of six 
thousand years? I do not know what you 
think about it, but I do not believe that he 
did. If I were a betting man, I would put 
my money on Adam. 


We all know that if every man had all that 
he earns by actual service rendered to society 
by the labor of either hand or brain, and if no 
man had any more than he earns by such 
service rendered, the whole industrial ques- 
tion would be settled. There must come a 
more equitable distribution of the good things 
of life between those who labor mainly with 
their hands and those who labor mainly with 
their heads. 

''The many and varied schemes, now so 
vigorously undertaken by intelligent em- 
ployers, of conciliation, arbitration, cooper- 
ation, profitsharing, and industrial partner- 
ship are not to be regarded as forms of benefi- 
cence or magnanimity. To initiate them in 
the spirit of paternalism or patronage or 
charity is, in the present temper of the 
working classes, to foredoom them to failure. 
They represent a candid recognition of the 
fact that the wage-system in its bare economic 
form must be supplemented, if it is not to be 
supplanted; that the line of division between 
employer and employed must be effaced by 
fraternalism, if it is not to be obliterated by 
socialism. Schemes of industrial reform must 
be incorporated with the business, adapted to 
the type of industry concerned, and charged 
to production. The proper payment for them 


is not gratitude, but loyalty. They are one 
form of evidence that the industrial order, 
imperfect as it is, may be developed by intel- 
ligence and ingenuity into a system of mutual 
advantage, which is certainly more accessible, 
and may perhaps be more durable, than the 
vague ventures which social revolution now 
so lightly proposes to make. ' '^ 

3. There must come a steadier exaltation 
of the human values at stake. What is it all 
for, this huge process of production, distribu- 
tion, and exchange? What is the final oflSce 
of these mills and mines, these farms and fac- 
tories, these steamships and railroads, these 
stores and banks? The process certainly 
does not exist for the purpose of creating im- 
mense private fortunes in the hands of a few 
or for the mere increase of a cheaper and 
more abundant supply of things. The process 
is meant to minister to human well-being. Its 
office is to make human life richer, worthier, 
more joyous. It must stand or fall ultimately 
by its success or failure at that point. 

It was John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who said: 
* * The soundest industrial policy is that which 
has constantly in mind the welfare of em- 
ployees as well as the making of profits. 

•Reprinted from The Christian Life in the Modern World (p. 102), by 
F. G. Peabody, by permission of the publishers, The Macmillan Company. 


When human considerations demand it this 
policy subordinates profit to welfare. In- 
dustrial relations are essentially human 
relations. The day has passed when the con- 
ception of industry as chiefly a revenue- 
producing process can be maintained." 

The wealth of the nation is not indicated, 
as Ruskin used to argue in his strenuous way, 
by its broad acres, or by its mineral wealth, 
or by the thousands of miles of railroad that 
may have been built, or by the accumulated 
wealth stored up in its banks. ''The wealth 
of the nation is indicated always by the num- 
ber of healthy, happy, clear-eyed, and aspir- 
ing men, women, and children it can show." 
The human values are supreme and final. 

Here is a man who builds a factory, and 
he carries it on in such fashion that the smoke 
which flies from his factory chimney is the 
black flag of piracy. Men and women are 
there being robbed of the finer results which 
should flow from their employment. They 
may or may not be receiving good wages, but 
they are not working in that mood and tem- 
per which makes for the development of the 
finer values. Here is another man on the 
other side of the city who builds a factory, 
and he carries it on in such a fashion that 
the smoke which flies from his chimney is 



like a pillar of cloud by day guiding the peo- 
ple whose lives are bound up in that enter- 
prise toward the land of promise. He shows 
so much of the spirit of social justice, so much 
consideration for the people in his employ, and 
he maintains such a spirit of cooperation and 
good will in the enterprise that the human 
values are being constantly advanced. 

The man who builds and operates this 
second factory may be making shoes, or 
steam engines, or cotton cloth, or anything 
you please, but what is much more to the 
purpose he is making manhood and woman- 
hood in the lives of all those who stand in his 
employ. We are to judge of the fitness or the 
unfitness of all methods of industry by their 
outcome in the creation or the destruction of 
these human values. 

''The fundamental ethical teaching of 
Jesus is the supreme worth of every per- 
sonality in the sight of God. The primary in- 
terest of Christianity in all economic problems 
is, therefore, that human values shall be kept 
in the first place. If modern societies could 
once be made to act upon the simple principle 
that a man's life consisteth not in the abun- 
dance of the things that he possesseth, that 
all social institutions are made for man, not 
man for the institutions, and consequently 


are to be judged by their effect on men, 
women, and children, the longest single stride 
toward the bringing in of the kingdom of God 
on earth would have been taken. For this 
principle, once set to work, would quickly 
reach out to most vital implications." 

In the second place, there must come in this 
day of social rebuilding the development and 
maintenance of a finer quality of national 
soul. The most terrible thing the world saw 
during the Great War was not the outrage 
upon Belgium, awful as that was in its bar- 
barity, nor the sinking of the Lusitania with 
the drowning of hundreds of helpless women 
and children, nor the judicial murder of men 
like Captain Fryatt or women like Edith 
Cavell. All this was frightful in the extreme, 
but there was something worse. The most ter- 
rible thing we saw in the Great War was the 
evidence of the utter decay of what had been 
a great national soul in Germany. 

There was a Germany once, the Germany 
of Luther and Melanchthon, of Kant and 
Hegel, of Goethe and Schiller, of Beethoven 
and Bach, of Carl Schurz and Franz Sigel, 
which was honored and esteemed throughout 
the world. In that Germany all the nations 
of the earth were being blessed. But in the 
year 1914 the world suddenly awoke to the 


fact that this Germany which had been held 
in honor was gone. 

In the years following 1870 the German 
people turned over the keeping of their soul 
into the hands of certain false gods. The 
gospel most industriously preached in Ger- 
many during that period was not the Gospel 
according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. 
It was the gospel according to Treitschke, 
Nietzsche, and Bemhardi. It was ''another 
gospel" which was not ** another" but a 
counsel of evil. In this gospel of the New 
Testament I read, ''Among the Gentiles the 
great ones exercise lordship and dominion. It 
shall not be so among you. If any man would 
be great among you let him serve. The great- 
est of all is the servant of all." 

But in this other gospel I find these virtues 
of compassion, pity, and self-sacrifice spumed 
as belonging to what these misguided men 
were pleased to call * ' the slave morality. " "I 
denounce Christianity," said Nietzsche, "as 
the greatest of all possible corruptions, since 
it combats the good red blood of human life. 
The qualities of mercy, charity, self-sacrifice 
are utterly pernicious since they mean the 
transfer of power from the hands of the 
strong to the hands of the weak whose proper 
business it is to serve the strong. Therefore 



be hard. Face life defiant. Live dangerously. 
Will to live in perfect power." So far 
Nietzsche! And this was the gospel indus- 
triously preached and practised in Germany 
during the years following 1870, and it 
brought about the decay of a great national 

Now all that will have to be changed. In 
the future, as in the past, we shall have to 
live with Germany and to reckon with Ger- 
many as one of the potent factors in the 
world's life — and we cannot live on good 
terms with a nation possessed of such a mood 
as that just indicated. It will have to be 

It cannot be changed by contempt, bitter- 
ness, and hatred. Satan does not cast out 
Satan. Beelzebub, the prince of the devils, 
does not turn around and cast out all the 
other devils. The quality of national life in 
Germany can only be changed by a finer 
quality of national soul in those countries 
with which Germany will have to live. There 
must be a finer quality of soul in Britain, 
in France, in Italy, and in the United States 
of America. And that plain fact brings home 
to us all an immediate sense of duty. 

We can readily see the defects in other 
nations — are we equally ready to recognize 



them in our own national life? It is for us 
to ask ourselves whether at this hour the 
stream of personal ambition and of self- 
interest is not running more strongly here in 
our own land than is the sense of the necessity 
for social discipline, for ordered activity, and 
for the acceptance of our full share of respon- 
sibility for the peace and good order of the 

"If drunk with sight of power, we loose 
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe, 

Such boasting as the Gentiles use 
Or lesser breeds without the law: 

Lord God of hosts, be with us yet, 

Lest we forget, lest we forget. 

"Par-called our navies melt away. 

On dune and headland sinks the fire; 
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday 

Is one with Nineveh and Tyre! 
Judge of the nations, spare us yet. 
Lest we forget, lest we forget. 

"The tumult and the shouting dies; 

The captains and the kings depart; 
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice, 

An humble and a contrite heart; 
Lord God of hosts, be with us yet, 
Lest we forget, lest we forget." 

The duty of contributing to the develop- 
ment of that finer quality of national soul is 
immediate and personal. The government of 
this country is not at Washington — it has 


never been at Washington. The government 
is here. It is here and there and yonder 
wherever the people are. The court of last 
appeal in this land is what the people think 
and feel and that upon which they are highly 
resolved. And to the development and main- 
tenance of that public sentiment, that quality 
of national soul, every man and woman 
among us is constantly giving either of his 
best or some poor weak substitute which rep- 
resents that which is second or third rate. 
And upon the quality of that common soul the 
issue of these great days will turn. 

I have the feeling that the young people 
who have been privileged to live through the 
last six years, witnessing one of the great 
epochs in human history, will have a much 
more vivid sense of the content and meaning 
of this period and of its bearing upon the 
future of the race than they have of some of 
the significant periods of history in the past. 
I was told recently of a certain high school — 
I do not remember just where it was ; it was 
not in Indiana and I hope it was not in Con- 
necticut — where an examination was being 
held in history. The teacher placed certain 
questions on the blackboard and among the 
rest was this query: "Write what you know 
about Magna Charta. ' ' 


When the papers were handed in it was 
found that one young lady in the second year 
of high school had produced the following: 
*' Magna Charta was a soldier in the Revolu- 
tionary War. He was shot in a battle and his 
wife at once went to the front to take care 
of him. But when she found that he was 
dead, Mrs. Charta took up his gun and said, 
'Shoot if you must this old gray head, but 
I will fight it out on this line if it takes all 
summer.' " 

The young lady had a number of historical 
references in her production, but, as we say 
in baseball, she did not get her hits very well 
''bunched." The young people of this gen- 
eration will have a much more real and accu- 
rate sense of the meaning of these recent 
events during the Great War and of their 
bearing upon the further unfolding of our 

It is a great time to be alive. And to be 
alive and young is heaven itself. For a thou- 
sand years other men and women will turn 
back and study with profound interest the 
significant history of the last six years and 
the still more significant history of those six 
years which are just ahead. They will realize 
more fully than do we the bearing of all that 
upon the whole future welfare of our race. 



*'For our own age this much can be said. 
The stake was never so great nor so widely 
realized. To shake ourselves free forever 
from the tyranny of war or to be condemned 
to the prospects of conflicts growing steadily 
more savage and destructive till civilization 
becomes its own murderer; to lift industrial 
life into a genuine cooperation between direc- 
tion and labor, capital and brain and muscle, 
or to watch the world of industry desolated 
by struggles fiercer than in the fiercest days 
of the past ; to rid the world of ancient forms 
of poverty and disease and behold joy in 
widest commonalty spread, or to acquiesce 
in still more glaring contrasts of wealth and 
poverty than we knew when the arts of ex- 
ploitation were still comparatively young — 
these are the issues that face us to-day. 
Nothing seems too good to be hoped for; 
nothing too evil to be feared." 

It was the distinguished author of **The 
American Commonwealth," James Bryce, 
who wrote these words in a letter to a friend 
less than a year ago : " In my judgment there 
has never been a time at which the systematic 
and impartial study of social and economic 
questions has been so urgent as at the present 
day. We stand on the threshold of a new 
age. The problems which confront us and 


the other leading democratic states of the 
world are of the most complex and the most 
vital character and can only be solved by 
patient examination conducted in the spirit 
of scientific detachment accompanied by a 
wide diffusion of adult civilization. To avert 
the grave conflict between classes and inter- 
ests we must in good time inquire into and 
determine so far as possible their courses and 
conditions. We need, therefore, to-day and at 
once a much more adequate provision for 
social research and for giving publicity to the 
result of such research. But to be most fruit- 
ful our work must be conceived in a large 
and liberal spirit." 

How much it would mean for the develop- 
ment of this finer quality of national soul if^ 
as Dr. William P. Merrill, of the Brick 
Church, New York, has pointed out, that 
fifteenth psalm, revered alike by Catholic, 
Protestant, and Hebrew, could be chanted in 
the terms of national and international life ! 
In that event the ancient scripture would 
read like this : a^ 

* ' Lord, what nation shall stand in thy pres- 
ence or dwell in thy holy hill? The nation 
that walketh uprightly, that setteth justice 
first and speaketh the truth in its heart. The 
nation that slandereth not its neighbors, nor 


setteth spies upon another nation, nor clierish- 
eth a grudge toward any people. The nation 
that sweareth to its own hurt and changeth 
not, in whose eyes a reprobate nation is de- 
spised. The nation that useth not its strength 
to oppress the weak or to destroy the help- 
less. The nation that doeth these things shall 
never be moved." If these noble sentiments 
might be embedded in the spirit of the na- 
tion's life, it would mean a quality of soul in 
which all the nations of the world would be 

When I reflect upon the task of creating 
this spirit and temper among our people, I 
think instantly of the work of the teachers 
in our public schools. We saw at the begin- 
ning of this lecture that Nehemiah did not 
bring money nor material to the task of social 
rebuilding — no more do they, for the public 
has paid them so meagerly that they have 
little money to bring. It has been a reproach 
to the nation that these public servants in the 
only institution we have which speaks to all 
classes, all races, and all creeds alike should 
have been so sadly underpaid. 

But, like the prophet of old, these public- 
school teachers bring to the work of rebuild- 
ing impulse, inspiration, and leadership. 
They are not merely engaged in the work of 



imparting information. They are not merely 
teaching boys and girls to read, write, and 
add up columns of figures. They are doing 
something vastly more significant than merely 
increasing the measure of technical skill in 
each pupil. They are at work upon the task 
of maturing, enriching, and ennobling human 
personality at its most plastic period for a 
better America. They are steadily saying to 
the generation whose day of opportunity is 
just dawning, ^'Let us rise and build the bet- 
ter world that is to be." 

The call of the hour is for trained, compe- 
tent consecrated leaders to stamp that period 
of history which lies in the immediate future 
more clearly and more firmly with the like- 
ness and image of the Son of God. We want 
men and women who know something of his- 
tory so that all the foolish experiments which 
have been tried in the past and have failed 
will not have to be tried over again. We want 
men who know something of those sound 
economic principles which must underlie all 
human well-being and advance. We want men 
who know something of the psychology of the 
human mind, that they may be able to antici- 
pate and rightly to appraise those thought 
movements which are destined to become 
controlling. We want men with the scientific 



habit of mind so that they will be able to 
*'draw the thing as they see it for the God 
of things as they are." And then coupled 
with all that skill in the use of the materials 
of hnman well-being, we want men and women 
of vision and high purpose who will work 
steadily for human betterment with their 
eyes and their minds upon that social order 
which hath foundations, whose builder and 
maker is God.